US drops ‘largest non-nuclear bomb’ in Afghanistan in area populated by Isis members



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The US has dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in the country’s arsenal on an area of eastern Afghanistan known to be populated by Islamic State militants.

The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the 21,000lb weapon had been used in combat operations.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to The Independent that a MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm local time.

The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or "mother of all bombs". MOAB stands for massive ordinance air blast.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by Isis fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar, close to the border with Pakistan.

The Pentagon said the mission had been in the planning stages for months. However, they "did not have the information" on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.


The cargo aircraft used to drop the bomb was already located in Afghanistan prior to the mission.

There have been no assessments of civilian deaths as yet.

Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War, had 15 kilo-tonnes of TNT. The GBU-43 has 11.

Retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona told CNN the blast would “feel like a nuclear weapon to anyone near the area".

The remote border area with Pakistan has been known as a breeding ground for an Isis affiliate called IS Khorosan.


The Independent