US Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb In Afghanistan

WASHINGTON:  The United States dropped a massive GBU-43 bomb, the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday against a series of caves used by ISIS, the military said. Also known as the "mother of all bombs," the GBU-43 is a 21,600 pound (9,797 kg) GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003, just days before the start of the Iraq war. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs". Stump, said it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, known as the GBU-43. This, he said, contains 11 tons of explosives.

At around 7 pm local time in Afghanistan last night US military used GBU 43 weapon. We targeted tunnels and caves used by ISIS fighters to move around freely... US takes fight against ISIS very seriously... Was important to deny ISIS operational access. Took all measures to prevent collateral damage and civilian casualties," said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

It was the first time the United States has used this size of bomb in a conflict. It was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

General John Nicholson, the head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, said the bomb was used against caves and bunkers housing fighters of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, also known as ISIS-K.

"This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K," Nicholson said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear how much damage the bomb did.

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