The US military’s largest non-nuclear bomb killed at least 36 militants as it decimated a deep tunnel complex of the Islamic State group on Thursday, Afghan officials said. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb - better known as the ‘mother of all bombs’ - hit IS hideouts in Achin district in eastern Nangarhar province.
This is how the country’s residents and officials reacted.
“Bombed area was used as ammunition dump by ISIS. Bombing was carried out in coordination with Afghanistan,” the Afghan government said.
The Afghan presidential palace said precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties.
Dawlat Waziri, an Afghan ministry spokesman, said, “No civilian has been hurt and only the base, which Daesh used to launch attacks in other parts of the province, was destroyed.”
Haji Ghalib Mujahed, a local veteran commander, said he felt “tremors” all the way to Bati Kot, a neighbouring district where he is now the administrative chief.
The bombing drew floods of responses on social media too.
Former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai was among the first ones to condemn the attack. He called on his countrymen to “stop the USA” after what he said was Washington using Nangarhar province as a testing ground for the biggest non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal.
I vehemently and in strongest words condemn the dropping of the latest weapon, the largest non-nuclear #bomb, on Afghanistan by US...1/2— Hamid Karzai (@KarzaiH) April 13, 2017
2/2 military. This is not the war on terror but the inhuman and most brutal misuse of our country as testing ground for new and dangerous...— Hamid Karzai (@KarzaiH) April 13, 2017
A journalist from Afghanistan also condemned the bombing in a series of tweets.
While the "civilized west" is celebrating Easter, the "uncivilized & barbarian Afghan muslims" are being dropped at 21,000-pound bomb... (1)— Mirwais Afghan (@Miirwais) April 13, 2017
Dropping 'mother of all bombs' was yet another stage show by #Trump who made it clear that Muslim lands are but the West's laboratories (2)— Mirwais Afghan (@Miirwais) April 13, 2017
Some locals and reporters also blamed the West for the presence of rebels in Afghanistan.
Afghan ambassador to Pakistan also took to Twitter to share his views.
2/2: If big bombs were the solution we would be the most secure place on earth today.— Dr Omar Zakhilwal (@DrOmarZakhilwal) April 14, 2017
However, many on the social media supported the cause behind the bombing, chief executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan being one of them.
Joint nature of the operation shows our common resolve to eliminate #ISIS and terror safe havens from our country. 3/3— Dr. Abdullah (@afgexecutive) April 14, 2017
The intellectual critics of US bombing on ISIS in Nangarhar are much more than the critics of ISIS targeting killings of innocent citizens.— Abdullah Khenjani (@AbdullahAzada) April 14, 2017
An Afghan-American women’s rights activist, meanwhile, showed concern following the attack.