US drops largest non-nuclear bomb on ISIS tunnel compound in Afghanistan
The U.S. military on Thursday dropped one of the largest conventional bombs in its inventory on an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan.
It marked the first time the GBU-43, a 21,000 pound bomb that has been called the “Mother of All Bombs,” has been used in combat, the U.S. military said.
The bomb was dropped from a U.S. aircraft in Nangahar province, where U.S.-backed Afghan forces are battling the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Fighting between ISIS and Afghan forces in the region has intensified recently. A U.S. Special Forces soldier advising the Afghans was killed in the area Saturday, the first U.S. combat death this year.
“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against (the Islamic State),” Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said in statement.
The bomb explodes in the air, creating air pressure that can collapse tunnels and buildings.
“U.S. forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike,” the military said in a statement.