April 13, 2017
The U.S. military says it has dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State underground complex in Afghanistan.
A Pentagon statement said a GBU-43 bomb was dropped Thursday on an IS tunnel complex in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province near the border with Pakistan.
The device, called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, contains 11 tons of explosives. Based on its acronym, the U.S. Air Force has nicknamed it the “Mother of All Bombs.”
Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said it was the first use of the bomb in a combat situation.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters in Washington he was unaware if President Donald Trump approved the military action, but said “we must deny them [IS] operational space, which we did.”
The bomb was dropped in response to IS’ increasing use of bunkers and tunnels to “thicken their defense,” General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said.
“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K,” Nicholson said.
The Pentagon did not indicate how much damage was inflicted on the IS stronghold or whether there were any casualties.