associate sponsors

Havells
HDFC

US drops 'mother of all bombs' in Afghanistan: All you need to know about Nangarhar Province, site of the attack

The US military on Thursday dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat, targeting an Islamic State (IS) complex in Afghanistan.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb – better known by its nickname, the "mother of all bombs" – hit a tunnel complex in Achin district in Nangarhar province. The huge bomb has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons of TNT.

The US military had on Tuesday said that an American special forces soldier had been killed while conducting operations against IS in Nangarhar, although it was not clear if Thursday's strike was connected.

Why is the Nangarhar province suddenly a hotbed of military activity?

Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, is a hotbed of IS militancy. US forces have conducted a number of air strikes on jihadist bases in the area since August last year.

The area is extremely remote and mountainous, inaccessible to government forces. It is north of Tora Bora, the complex network of caves from where Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden gave US forces the slip and escaped into Pakistan in late 2001.

Google Maps grab of the Nangarhar province.

Google Maps screengrab of the Nangarhar province, the site of Thursday's bombing by US forces.

The US said it believed the area was so remote that no civilians were in the area.

The strike hit a system of tunnels and caves that IS fighters had used to "move around freely, making it easier for them to target US military advisers and Afghan forces" nearby, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into Afghanistan in recent years. It has attracted disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.

But the group has been steadily losing territory in the face of heavy pressure both from US airstrikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.

The IS' strength in Afghanistan has fallen to 600 to 800 fighters from 3,000 in early 2016, NATO has said, adding that it killed the top 12 IS commanders in the country last year.

"The GBU-43/B is the largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat," Air Force spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder said.

"We don't know anything about the casualties so far, but since it is a IS stronghold we think a lot of Daesh fighters may have been killed," Achin District Governor Esmail Shinwari said.

Shinwari said the bomb landed in the Momand Dara area, approximately 15 km from the Pakistan border.

US President Donald Trump also commented on the mission, calling it "very, very successful."

With inputs from agencies 


Updated Date: Apr 14, 2017 19:26 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See