April 21, 2018

No need for President Donald Trump's approval to use massive bomb

21 April 2017, 12:17 | Darin Griffith

No need for President Donald Trump's approval to use massive bomb

No need for President Donald Trump's approval to use massive bomb

He said the US had persistent surveillance over the area "before, during and after" the operation, and they see no evidence of civilian casualties.

US forces and Afghan commandos are seen in Asad Khil village near the site of a USA bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, April 17, 2017.

"This is the first time we have encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress that was constituted by I.E.D.s, the presence of tunnels and caves, and therefore this was the appropriate weapon to use at this time", Nicholson said during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The bomb's use has attracted enormous attention, but its aim in Thursday's attack was relatively mundane by military standards: destroy a tunnel and cave complex used by Islamic State fighters in a remote mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan. Achin is right on the border with Pakistan.

"Our team is in the area and they are doing clearance, so the figure might change as they find more bodies", a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense said. He also said that the operations were being conducted with care taken to prevent civilian casualties. Nicholson said hundreds of US airstrikes in the past two years have cut the number down by two-thirds.

"Security source to Amaq agency denies any dead or wounded from yesterday's American strike in Achin district's Asadkhelo village using a GBU-43/B", the group's self-styled news agency said on social media accounts.

Waziri noted that the fortress contained tunnels more than 12o feet deep into the ground.

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Pakistani villagers living near the frontier said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by US warplanes targeting militants in Pakistan.

Nangarhar's Achin district is the birthplace of Islamic State in Afghanistan.

"They killed our women, youths and elders sitting them on mines".

Afghan officials say the death toll is likely to increase as US and Afghan Security Forces continue their damage assessment and clear the formerly held ISIS territory.

District governor Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the strike location.

The US estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. The U.S. has concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban. Nangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the toll stood at 90. "So we have incredible leaders of the military and incredible military, and we are very proud of them, and this was another very successful mission", Trump said.

The attack occurred at 7:32PM on Thursday, and according to Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Radmanesh, at least 37 IS militants died in the blast.

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