Pentagon didn't need Donald Trump's permission to drop massive bomb in Afghanistan

The death toll from the American military's largest non-nuclear bomb almost tripled Saturday (April 15), with Afghan officials saying at least 90 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters were killed, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over the rugged terrain.

The strike in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed at least 90 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials told Saturday.

USA forces dropped the GBU-43 Massive Ordinance Air Blast, an nearly 30-foot giant weighing approximately 10 tons, on the Achin district of Nangarhar province Thursday night.

Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said on Saturday the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier. For its part, the Islamic State-linked Amaq News Agency denied that the bombing caused casualties among the militants, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online postings from extremist groups and others.

"The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in southern Nangarhar", said Gen John Nicholson, the most senior USA military commander in Afghanistan. It did not provide any details on how many of these bombs exist.

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

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told mediapersons that the tunnels and caves IS fighters used to "move around freely" were targeted as they make it easier for them to target U.S. military advisers and Afghan forces in the area.

A senior American officer said the bomb was the right weapon for the job while an Afghan officer said that before the strike, joint forces had been unable to penetrate the region.

On Saturday, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai criticised both the Afghan and United States governments for the attack.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul yesterday, he said the weapon used, the GBU-43, was created to destroy caves and tunnels and that this had been the "right weapons against the right target".

President Donald Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission".

Since then, the number of ISIS fighters has dropped to between 600 and 700 from up to 3,000, according to USA officials. I will say this: "I think China has really been working very hard", he said.

An elderly man who lives close to the bombing site in Achin's Momand Dara area said the blast was so piercingly loud that his infant granddaughter was experiencing hearing loss.

The bomb had been in Afghanistan since January. He said he could see smoke in the sky.

"US and Afghan forces had been unable to advance because ISIS -which has expanded into Afghanistan in recent years - had mined the area with explosives", notes CNN.

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