Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

April 14: As many as 35 Islamic State terrorists were killed after the United States military attacked their tunnel and cave network with a GBU-43 bomb late on Thursday.

Thursday's strike targeted an underground Islamic State complex in a desolate portion of eastern Afghanistan, military officials said.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump called it a "very successful mission" and said he's "very proud of our military". He said IS has been using improvised explosive devices, bunkers and tunnels to strengthen its defenses.

Afghan security forces take part in an ongoing operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in the Achin district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

Following the announcement by the White House, foreign policy experts said that it appeared the use of such a specialised weapon had more to do with the type of target than America sending any message to other countries by using such a powerful weapon. Popular Mechanics described it as weighing as much as an F-16 fighter jet. "It is upon us, Afghans, to stop U.S.".

United States detonated its largest non-nuclear weapon ever to have been used in combat in a targeted strike on IS controlled caves and tunnels in Afghanistan.

Guided by Global Positioning System, it is dropped from the cargo ramp of a C-130 transport plane with its descent slowed by parachute, meaning it can be deployed from a greater height - giving USA pilots more time to reach safety. Its thin aluminium skin helps to maximise its blast radius and generate a shockwave which said can reach up to 150 metres. Developed during the Iraq War, the munition is an air blast-type warhead that explodes before hitting the ground to project a massive blast from all sides.

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District Gov. Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the airstrike location. A damage assessment is still being carried out.

According to a Reuters witness, at a village about 5 km from the remote mountainous area where the bomb was dropped, homes and shops appeared unaffected by the blast.

Adam Stump, a Pentagon spokesman, said the bomb was dropped from a U.S. MC-130 special operations transport.

"We have US Forces at the site and we see no evidence of civilian casualties nor have there been reports", he added.

An Afghan police medic treats an injured policeman who was wounded in a military operation against suspected Islamic State militants in Achin district.

"We have the greatest military in the world", declared Trump.

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