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First video of "the mother of all bombs" obliterating ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan with 11 tons of explosives

Mirror logo Mirror 14/04/2017 Chris kitching

Video Supplied by USAToday

Aerial footage shows the moment the "mother of all bombs" hit an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan and wiped out dozens of militants.

The bomb is seen falling from a plane towards a network of caves and tunnels that the terror group had used during fierce battles with Afghan and US forces.

The force of the blast is evident as the bomb hits its target in the mountainous area and a massive mushroom cloud of dark smoke billows into the sky in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.

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A spokesman for the Nangarhar governor and a local police commander later said the bombing had killed 82 ISIS members.

The video of the bomb being dropped on the ISIS base was posted on Twitter by US Forces Afghanistan.

The massive GBU-43 bomb that was dropped on Thursday night was the largest non-nuclear bomb the US has ever used in combat.

The 21,600lb (9,797kg) device, which has 11 tons of explosives, was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, near the border with Pakistan.

Video supplied by Sky News

People who live near the ISIS camp that was targeted have heard explosions before, but they described the force of “mother of all bombs” as unprecedented. Achin District Governor Esmail Shinwari said: "The explosion was the biggest I have ever seen Towering flames engulfed the area."

The cloud of smoke could be seen for miles and residents who were home at the time said their windows were blown out.

US Army Gen John Nicholson, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan, defended the decision to use the bomb and denied that it was influenced by outside events.

After the attack there was speculation that the bombing was carried out as a threat to North Korea amid mounting tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear programme. The general told reporters that it was purely a tactical decision to use the bomb on caves and tunnels that ISIS was using to move around the battlefield and hide.

Gen Nicholson called the network an "obstacle" for Afghan and US forces in their bid to drive the terror group out of the region, adding: "This was the right weapon against the right target.”

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar Province, claimed that 82 militants were killed and three tunnels had been destroyed.

There were no reports of civilian casualties.

Jawid Saleem, a spokesman for the army in Nangarhar Province, told TOLO News that the bomb was dropped between two mountains.

US President Donald Trump declared the bombing a success. However the US was condemned by former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and others.

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