US confirms massive non-nuclear bomb used in Afghanistan

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US military forces have dropped a non-nuclear bomb dubbed the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan in an effort to target Isis fighters, the White House confirmed on Thursday.

The bomb — called the GBU-43, or Massive Ordnance Air Blast, and nicknamed the “Mother of All Bombs” — was dropped on an Isis tunnel complex that the group’s fighters used to move around freely and target US personnel, and that efforts were taken to avoid civilian casualties, according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer.

“The United States takes the fight against Isis very seriously,” Mr Spicer said, describing the bomb as a “large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon”.

Over the last few days, US President Donald Trump has reaffirmed that defeating the terrorist group is a top priority of his administration’s military efforts. Mr Trump said on Thursday afternoon that it was “another successful event”.

Separately, the US military confirmed on Thursday that an air strike carried out by an American-led coalition in Syria — where Mr Trump ordered a surprise missile strike last week — had inadvertently killed 18 personnel from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group dominated by Kurdish militia and Washington’s preferred partner in the fight against jihadis in the war-torn nation.

US Central Command said in a statement:

“The Coalition’s deepest condolences go out to the members of the SDF and their families. The Coalition is in close contact with our SDF partners who have expressed a strong desire to remain focused on the fight against Isis despite this tragic incident.

The Coalition is assessing the cause of the incident and will implement appropriate safeguards to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

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