In another show of military force after the bombing of a Syrian airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles, the USA military yesterday dropped a GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the Mother Of All Bombs or MOAB, to target caves built by Islamic State fighter in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Nicholson stated that USA forces had "surveillance over the area before, during and after the operation, and now we have Afghan and USA forces on the site and see no evidence of civilian casualties".
"This is the first time we have encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress that was constituted by I.E.D.s, the presence of tunnels and caves, and therefore this was the appropriate weapon to use at this time", Nicholson said during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. The GBU-43 bomb known as "Mother Of All Bombs" was dropped in Afghanistan targeting an Islamic State complex.
Another militant source told AFP that 800 to 1,000 IS fighters were believed to be hiding in the area, which borders Pakistan.
A similar report on Friday had quoted the Afghan officials as saying that no civilian has been harmed in the bombing.
Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb ad been dropped in their village by US warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.
Mufti Khan, a resident of Achin in Nangarhar, said, "It was between seven or eight local time when it happened".
The strike was part of a joint operation by Afghan and global troops, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office said in a statement.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai posted scathing criticism of the USA military on Twitter Thursday, calling the operation a "brutal misuse of our country as [a] testing ground for new and unsafe weapons" and calling on Afghans "to stop" the United States. Nangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani, however, said some 90 terrorists were killed.
No civilian was injured in the raid which took place in Mohmand Dara village, Asadkhil area of the district, the statement added.
"I vehemently and in strongest words condemn the dropping of the latest weapon, the largest non-nuclear #bomb, on Afghanistan by United States", he tweeted soon after reports of the bombing emerged.
The Islamic State (ISIS) was expected to deny any significant loss from the USA bombing on its base in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province on Thursday.
There had been heavy fighting in the area in recent weeks between Afghan forces and IS militants. The latest attack claimed by the group occurred on Wednesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Afghan Defense Ministry killing five people.