Officials say Trump's approval wasn't needed to drop massive bomb

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb

The United States Air Force dropped a 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or MOAB, bomb on what it said were ISIS militants in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Nangarhar officials on Saturday revised the death toll in Thursday night's bombing in Achin district in Nangarhar, stating at least 94 militants had been killed in the incident including four of their top commanders.

The bomb smashed their mountain hideouts, a tunnel-and-cave complex that had been mined against conventional ground attacks, engulfing the remote area in towering flames.

A statement on the IS-supporting Amaq news agency denied there were any IS casualties in the bomb strike.

The weapon, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, is referred to as the "mother of all bombs".

Citing the group's deadly attacks on shrines and peaceful demonstrators, and reports that it had beheaded civilians, Nicholson said USA forces were committed to eradicating the militants from Afghanistan in 2017.

Mr Shinwary had earlier confirmed to the BBC that Afghan special forces, with the help of American air support, had begun anti-IS operations in the area two weeks ago.

"This was the right weapon for the right target", said U.S. Gen. John W. Nicholson, NATO commander in Afghanistan, at a news conference.

"But the next morning we came to know that the USA had dropped a huge bomb on a militants' base in the bordering Achin district of Nangarhar that caused the tremors", said a tribal elder.

"Using "mother of all bombs" in Afghanistan to kill 36 militants - at $450,000 each - will not change its reputation as a white elephant", a Guardian op-ed argued.

This was the moment USA forces dropped the MOAB - the "Mother of All Bombs" - on an Islamic State (IS) target in Afghanistan.

Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.

"This was the right weapon against the right target", Nicholson said.

Karzai called President Ashraf Ghani's government an "accomplice" that allowed and welcomed the use of the bomb.

Trump said Thursday the bombing was "another successful job".

"I thought my house was being bombed". The U.S. has concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban.

White House officials won't detail precisely when that visit will take place but say it will come "soon".

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

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