The top USA military commander in Afghanistan says that the decision to deploy one of the largest conventional bombs ever used in combat was purely tactical, and made as part of the campaign against Islamic State-linked fighters.
The GBU-43 bomb, which goes by the acronym MOAB for "massive ordnance air blast bomb", also known as the "mother of all bombs," was dropped on the tunnel complex in Achin from a USA aircraft at 7:32 pm (1502 GMT) the Pentagon said.
The MOAB, developed for use in the Iraq war and first tested in 2003, is dropped from an aircraft on a pallet.
Afghan officials say 36 ISIL militants killed in Mother of all Bombs strikeAfghan officials say dozens of ISIL fighters were killed by the Pentagon's massive bombing.
The US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters in the area.
The 45th commander in chief permitted the Pentagon to drop its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) on an ISIS-K (the Khorasan group) target on Thursday.
'It was the right time to use it tactically against the right target on the battlefield'. It is Global Positioning System enabled and can target with smarter and improved accuracy. It delivers an 18,700-pound BLU-120/B warhead, which is made of H6, a mixture of cyclotrimethylene trinitramine, TNT and aluminum.
Most residents of the village of Shodal, a mountainside hamlet near the tunnels, had evacuated the area on the orders of Afghan special forces, limiting the harm to civilians, officials said.
"We have US Forces at the site and we see no evidence of civilian casualties nor have there been reports", Nicholson said.
The United States on Thursday launched a major airstrike against the terror group using the Mother of All Bombs, GBU-43 bomb to destroy the tunnels network and other hideouts of the terror group in Achin district. USA military leaders say the bomb was dropped to destroy an extensive labyrinth of tunnels the terrorists use. "There will be no sanctuary for terrorists in Afghanistan".
It is not clear whether or not President Donald Trump personally ordered the strike. He said Afghan forces were at the tunnel complex assessing the damage. President Trump called the operation "very, very successful mission". "Freedom overcomes oppression. And faith extinguishes fear".
"I thought there was a bombing just outside my home", he added but, in reality, the blast was around 5km (three miles) away, according to Reuters.