'Mother Of All Bombs' casualty count rises to 94


The number of militants killed in an attack with the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the United States military has risen to 94, an Afghan official has said.

Afghan officials had earlier said the bombing had killed 36 IS fighters.

The exact death toll is unclear, with one Afghan official quoting the number as 92, and another claiming 90 people were killed. A statement released Friday through ISIS' media wing, Amaq News Agency, said none of the terror group's fighters were killed or injured.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump authorized the US military to drop a 21,000-pound bomb on ISIS in Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan.

"If you want to destroy and eliminate Daesh, then even if you destroy my home we won't complain, because they are not human beings, they are savages", said resident Mir Alam Shinwari, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.

President Ashraf Ghani voiced his support for the bombing, saying it was executed in coordination with Afghanistan's government and was "designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and USA forces conducting clearance operations in the region".

It came a week after US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, and as China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising US tensions with North Korea.

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The commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, defended the use of the bomb and confirmed the target of the strike was the network of tunnels that ISIS fighters use to move around and protect themselves from Afghan and USA forces.

The general said that because the spring offensive against ISIS-K had been slowed by fighters using caves and tunnels, "It was the right time to use it tactically, against the right target on the battlefield".

The top USA commander in Afghanistan reportedly did not anticipate the impression dropping America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb would make on the public. The tunnels, top military commanders said, were slowing the process of eradicating the terrorist from Afghanistan. "We thought it had happened right in front of our house", he said.

But the massive blast still terrified villagers 20 miles away across the border in Pakistan.

"Last night's bomb was really huge, when it dropped, everywhere, it was shaking", said a resident, Palstar Khan, adding that he believed no civilians were in the area hit. "If big bombs were the solution we would be the most secure place on earth today". According to Afghan officials, the attack was able to decimate a deep tunnel of ISIS group.

"This was the first time that we encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress", top USA general in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson told reporters Friday.