Did the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ kill Indian recruits of Islamic State? Officials unsure
US military planes dropped GBU-43 -- Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) known by its nickname Mother of All Bombs’ – on IS hideouts in Achin district of Nangarhar province in war-torn Afghanistan.Updated: Apr 14, 2017 22:32 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram
Indian officials in Afghanistan say they are unsure whether any Indian recruits of the Islamic State were killed by one of the largest conventional bombs – termed as the mother of all bombs-- that the United States dropped on eastern Afghanistan.
But another man from Kerala –23-year-old TK Murshid Mohamed -- who allegedly joined the IS was killed in a drone strike days ago, and not in Thursday’s bombing as thought earlier, officials added.
“Mopping up and damage assessment is going on and it may take a while to determine casualties. Also, after the use of such a powerful bomb, we don’t even know how many will be identifiable,” a diplomatic official in Kabul said.
“We have information about killing of at least two Indian recruits in the same area but both of them died prior to Thursday’s bombing,” added another senior security official.
US military planes dropped GBU-43 -- Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) known by its nickname Mother of All Bombs’ – on IS hideouts in Achin district of Nangarhar province in war-torn Afghanistan.
“As per the information provided by the IS recruits hiding in Afghanistan to their family members in Kerala , two of them-- Mohamed Mursheed and Mohammad Hafeezuddin- died in air attacks. Hafeezuddin died two months back but the death of Mursheed was conveyed to the family members on Tuesday, two days before the MOAB attack,” said the official.
He said Mursheed’s Afghan wife informed his father about the death on Tuesday in a Telegram message.
“As of now, we don’t have information about any death of Indian recruit in the MOAB attack and even if there are some causalities, it will take some time for information to reach here,” added the official.
Telegram, an internet-based communication app like WhatsApp, is the preferred mode of communication of Islamic State. Messages sent on Telegram self-destruct after 24 hours.
A graduate, Mohamed was studying to be a chartered account in Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka. He went to Abu Dhabi to help his father in his business and called his mother on June 3, saying he was coming back to Kerala but didn’t.
The family suspects he may have joined other IS aspirants in Mumbai or in Dubai.
At least 21 persons from north Kerala, including three children and four women, joined the terror outfit last year. The disappearance of the group sent shockwaves across the country. Most of these people were educated and hailed from upper middle class families.
Some of them later called home and told their relatives they had joined Islamic State. Intelligence agencies confirmed that the group was in the Nangarhar province of the war-torn country.
First Published: Apr 14, 2017 22:31 IST