The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified to reflect the dateline developments.
The Islamic State (ISIS) was expected to deny any significant loss from the US bombing on its base in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province on April 13. And a day later, when its denial came, it confirmed that.
According to reports in the western media, the ISIS denied any casualty in April 13’s MOAB attack on its base in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. AFP quoted the terse response of the ISIS that said, “Security source to Amaq agency denies any dead or wounded from yesterday’s American strike in Nangarhar using a GBU-43/B.” Amaq is self-styled news agency for the world’s deadliest terrorist group that operates through shady social media accounts.
On April 13, the United States had dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever on Afghanistan. One of the largest US military aircrafts, stationed in Afghanistan, dropped the 21,600 pound GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) that is also called the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on tunnels believed to be used by the ISIS’s Khorasan module.
The reports emerging in the aftermath said over dozens of the ISIS fighters were killed in the attack. An official Afghan government put the count at 36 ISIS fighter. Later, the Afghan officials came out with a higher death toll, capping the number of ISIS fighters killed in the MOAB attack around 100.
OFFICIAL BOMBING VIDEO RELEASED BY THE US
In a video posted by US Central Command’s official Twitter handle, one can see the exact moment of impact and the huge cloud of smoke that rises following the explosion.
US President Donald Trump said he was very, very proud of the US military action in Afghanistan while commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, Gen John W Nicholson justified the uses of MOAB saying, “As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense. This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
The GBU-43 is a GPS-guided munition that had never before been used in combat since its first test in 2003, when it produced a mushroom cloud visible from 20 miles (32 km) away.
The bomb’s destructive power, equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, pales in comparison with the relatively small atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War Two, which had blasts equivalent to between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of TNT.