Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Research | By Francis Brooks

Afghans Respond to US Dropping Its Biggest Non-Nuclear Bomb

The decision to drop the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat was made by the top US commander on the ground, officials told Fox News on Friday, after the so-called "mother of all bombs" was used to obliterate an ISIS target in Afghanistan. Agricultural terrasses are visible in the footage, but no population centers.

Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by USA warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

Karzai said he planned to "stand against America", a stance he compared to decisions earlier in his life to fight against the Soviets and later the Taliban regime. If the Afghan government requested United States support against Isis in Nangarhar province, it must believe that the strike will strengthen it, but the opposition to the bombing from former President Hamid Karzai suggests that there other possible readings of Afghanistan's true interests.

"Fortunately there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack", Khogyani said.

The Islamic State group's news agency Aamaq denied that the strike caused any deaths or wounded in a one-line statement put out on its social media channels, citing a "source" within the group. "When I came out of my house I saw a large fire and the whole area was burning".

"We were unable to see each other at home because of the excessive dust inside the room", he said.

He once said the invasion of Afghanistan was a mistake, though he later walked back that statement, saying he "always supported" U.S. involvement in the country.

"They killed our women, youths and elders sitting them on mines". It came a week after he authorized a U.S. missile strike against a Syrian government air base - the first United States strike against the Syrian government in the country's six-year civil war. The US has concentrated heavily on combatting them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.

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President Donald Trump said this week he would be sending his new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, to Afghanistan "to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies". The US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters in the area but was unclear whether it had hoped to strike more.

"I want a hundred times more bombings on this group", said Hakim Khan, 50, a resident of Achin district, the site of the blast.

Security experts say IS had built their redoubts close to civilian homes, but the government said thousands of local families had already fled the area in recent months of fighting.

As the Kabul government, split between Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah under a USA -brokered power-sharing deal, remains fragile, Karzai's political interventions draw close attention.

"Precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties", President Ashraf Ghani said on Twitter, throwing his support behind the bombardment.

The Site Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organizations, reported Friday on a statement from the Afghan Taliban condemning the US for its "terrorist" attack.

It comes after North Korea's state agency KCNA warned against "serious military hysteria" and said U.S. military action in Afghanistan "could not be overlooked". The two militant movements are rivals of each other.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he approved of the strike, and it was created to support Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearance operations in the region.

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