Massive US bomb death toll rises to 94

Government: 36 Islamic State fighters killed by massive bomb

The strike, which marked the first use of the GBU-43, the US military's largest non-nuclear device ever used in combat, followed weeks of clashes between the militants and USA and Afghan forces in Nangarhar province.

The death toll was confirmed to the BBC by Ismail Shinwary, the governor of Achin province within Nangarhar.

The huge bomb, delivered via an MC-130 transport plane, has a blast yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, and the weapon was originally designed as much to intimidate foes as to clear broad areas.

"If you want to destroy and eliminate Daesh, then even if you destroy my home we won't complain, because they are not human beings, they are savages", said resident Mir Alam Shinwari, using an Arabic term for Islamic State.

The 20,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), popularly called the "mother of all bombs" because it is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the American armoury, dropped on Thursday night, has never been used before.

The US commander in Afghanistan said on Friday that the decision to use one of the biggest conventional bombs ever used in combat was purely tactical.

Earlier Friday, the Afghan Defense Ministry, based on initial findings, said that 36 IS militants were killed by the attack.

"The GBU-43/B has been in the US arsenal for more than 14 years, deployed to bases in the Middle East where it could be loaded aboard an American aircraft but never used until now".

USA special forces and Afghan commandos are now inspecting the site, Nicholson said, adding, "the weapon achieved its intended goal".

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Saturday criticized both the Afghan and US governments for the attack in Nangarhar. Last week, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R De Alencar, 37, was killed in an operation by U.S. Special Forces in Achin, which is close to the Pakistani border.

Pentagon officials said the United States commander who ordered the use of the bomb did not need President Donald Trump's approval. Its main effect is a massive blast wave - said to stretch for 1.6 kms.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office said in a statement the attack was a part of a joint operation by Afghan and worldwide troops.

Once a Mujahedin stronghold during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan, in recent years the townships in the foothills of Nangarhar's Spin Ghar mountains have also been ports of call for insurgents affiliated with the networks of Taliban leaders Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The US has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counter-terrorism operations.

Trump hailed the mission in Achin district as "very, very successful".

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