Drops Largest Non-nuclear Bomb in Afghanistan
By W.J. Hennigan
April 13/14, 2017 "Information
The U.S. military dropped the most powerful
non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on a cave and
tunnel complex that it said was used by Islamic
State fighters in eastern Afghanistan.
The GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, a
30-foot-long, 21,600-pound munition known as the
"mother of all bombs," has never before been
used in combat.
It was not immediately clear why the Pentagon
decided it was necessary to use an 11-ton bomb
against a group that largely depends on suicide
bombers and AK-47s to attack enemies.
The military said the bomb was dropped at 7:32
a.m. on an Islamic State stronghold in Achin
district in Nangarhar province
“The strike was designed to minimize the risk to
Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing
operations in the area while maximizing the
destruction" to the militants, the statement
Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces
in Afghanistan, said the group has used bunkers
and tunnels to “thicken their defense.”
“This is the right munition to reduce these
obstacles and maintain the momentum of our
offensive," Nicholson said.
On Saturday, the U.S. military announced that
Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, a
37-year-old Green Beret from Maryland, was
killed in action in Nangarhar province after
coming under fire from the Islamic State.
He was the first American service member killed
in action this year in Afghanistan, and the
1,833rd since the U.S.-led invasion in late
The GBU-43 was developed in 2002 “put pressure
on then-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to cease
and desist or the United States would not only
have the means but use them against the
unpopular tyrant,” the Air Force said in 2005
with more than 18,700 pounds of explosives and
30 feet long, the giant bomb was tested at Eglin
Air Force Base in Florida.
On its final day of testing, March 11, 2003, a
huge mushroom cloud could be seen from 20 miles
away, the release said.
Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. military announced
a accidental airstrike this week killed 18
friendly fighters battling Islamic State
alongside the international coalition in
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