The US military has released footage showing the moment the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ was dropped in Afghanistan.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was unleashed in combat for the first time, and is said to have killed dozens of Islamic State militants as it smashed their hideouts.
The bombing is expected to further erode IS’s capabilities in Afghanistan and sends a warning to the much bigger Taliban group ahead of their annual spring offensive.
“As a result of the bombing, key Daesh (IS) hideouts were destroyed and 36 IS fighters were killed,” the Afghan defence ministry said, adding that the bombing was carried out in coordination with local military forces.
The huge bomb, delivered via an MC-130 transport plane, has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tons of TNT. It was originally designed as much to intimidate foes as to clear broad areas.
Thursday’s explosion reverberated for miles and engulfed the remote area in towering flames, destroying what officials called a network of underground IS tunnels and caves that had been mined against conventional ground attacks.
The bombardment took place amid rising global tensions as the US military steps up raids against global jihadist groups.