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Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

The number of militants killed after the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military was dropped in Afghanistan has risen to 94.

The aerial images show the moment when the so-called "mother of all bombs", which had never been used until this Thursday, hit the side of a mountain in the Achin district of Nangarhar province with a explosive power equivalent to 11 tons of TNT, Efe news reported.

IS issued a statement through its propaganda agency Amaq, saying: "Security source to Amaq agency denies any dead or wounded from yesterday's American strike in Nangarhar using a GBU-43/B".

Shinwari insisted there were "no military and civilian casualties at all", adding that Afghan commandos and American troops are carrying out clean-up operations in the area. Pentagon officials had described it as the "mother of all bombs".

"It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield", General John Nicholson, commander for USA forces in Afghanistan, said at a news conference.

"Our team is in the area and they are doing clearance, so the figure might change as they find more bodies", said Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

This comes as the Afghan forces conducted counter-terrorism operations in the restive districts of Nangarhar under the Hamza operations launched around two weeks ago.

The region butts up against the porous Pakistan border.

The initial toll given by Afghan officials for the strike was 36.

"I have witnessed a countless number of explosions and bombings in the last 30 years of war in Afghanistan, but this one was more powerful than any other bomb as far as I remember".

IS had earlier said it had not suffered any casualties in the blast.

"I jumped from my bed and came out of my home to see what has gone wrong in our village".

U.S. military officials estimate there are about 600 to 800 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar, but also in the neighbouring province of Kunar.

The strike came as US President Donald Trump prepares to dispatch his first high-level delegation to Kabul, amid uncertainty about his plans for the almost 9000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

He is preparing to dispatch his first high-level delegation to the Afghan capital Kabul, amid uncertainty about his plans for the almost 9,000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

The 11-ton "mother of all bombs" dropped by U.S. forces on ISIS-linked fighters in Afghanistan is a highly specialised weapon with a heritage dating back to huge bombs developed for use against Nazi targets in World War Two.


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