US troops battle Daesh near site of MOAB strike

US troops battle Daesh near site of MOAB strike


KABUL: US troops are still engaged in a battle with suspected Daesh fighters near the site where a the GBU-43 Massive ordnance Air Blast bomb was dropped in eastern Afghanistan last week, a US military official said on Wednesday.

Nicknamed "the mother of all bombs", the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was dropped last Thursday from an American MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan.

Since the bomb was dropped, many have raised questions regarding the decision to use the weapon, which is one of the largest conventional bombs ever used.

Moreover, estimates of militant losses and civilian casualties have been impossible to verify in the remote region, where access to the bomb site has still been blocked.

The strike drew condemnation from some prominent figures, including former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan.

US troops arrived at the site a day after the strike, and have now left the area, but are still conducting broad operations in the area, said US military spokesman Captain William Salvin.

Salvin told media, "Access has been restricted but that's because it's a combat zone." He added, "We are in contact with the enemy."

Salvin also said that the US military was confident that no civilians were harmed in the bombing.

Some Afghan officials have complained of a lack of information about the effects of the bomb.

"We were and we are kept in the dark and still we haven’t been able to go to the site," said one senior Afghan security official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

He added, "We are confused ourselves and we wonder what MOAB could have caused."