"Mother Of All Bombs" dropped on ISIS target kills dozens of fighters

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WASHINGTON (AP) Three dozen Islamic State fighters died in the blast after U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped the military's largest non-nuclear bomb on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan, an Afghan general says.

(CNN VAN photo)

The general said the death toll is likely to rise.

No civilian casualties were reported.

Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump says it was the first-ever combat use of the bomb, known as the GBU-43, which he said contains 11 tons of explosives.

The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb.

Based on the acronym, it has been nicknamed the "Mother Of All Bombs."

Stump says the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by IS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan.

Pakistani villagers who live near the border say the explosion was so loud, they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village.

Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, who ordered the bombing, did not need the president’s authorization to use the powerful weapon, the Pentagon said Friday.

Nicholson has had standing authority to use the massive bomb since before Donald Trump took office.

“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using [improvised bombs], bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” Nicholson, said Thursday.

“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”