Pakistan

US ‘mother of all bombs’ damaged houses in Kurram Agency

KURRAM AGENCY: The United States dropped the largest non-nuclear device, called ‘mother of all bombs’ in an area in Afghanistan to target militants, but it also left an impact on the other side of border, causing damage to the buildings in Kurram Agency.

According to locals of the tribal area, cracks appeared in several buildings as well as worships places in Malana village in the foothills of Speen Ghar, commonly known as White Mountain. The village is a barrier between Nangarhar and the Kurram tribal region.

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb — dubbed the “Mother Of All Bombs” — was unleashed in combat for the first time, hitting IS positions in eastern Nangarhar province on Thursday.

The GBU-43, also known as the “mother of all bombs,” is a GPS-guided munition and was first tested in March 2003. It is regarded as particularly effective against clusters of targets on or just underneath the ground. Other types of bombs can be more effective against deeper, hardened tunnels.

Reports citing an elder tribal in Pakistan as saying that: “The whole of area was jolted. Initially we thought it was an earthquake, but a day later we came to know that the US had dropped a bomb in the Afghan side of the territory.”

Cracks appeared in the buildings after the explosion, he added.

The attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered as big a threat as the resurgent Taliban.

It came a week after US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, and as China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising US tensions with North Korea.

The security situation remains precarious in Afghanistan, with a number of militant groups trying to claim territory more than 15 years after the U.S. invasion which toppled the Taliban government.

According to Reuters report, Last week, a U.S. soldier was killed in the same district as where the bomb was dropped while he was conducting operations against Islamic State.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the bombing “targeted a system of tunnels and caves that ISIS fighters used to move around freely, making it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.”

Spicer said the bomb was dropped at around 7 p.m. local time and described it as “a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon.” U.S. forces took “all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage,” he said.

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