Afghan authorities Saturday reported a jump in fatalities from the American military's largest non-nuclear bomb, declaring some 90 Islamic State fighters dead, as US-led ground forces sought to advance on their mountain hideouts.
Nangarhar officials on Saturday revised the death toll in Thursday night's bombing in Achin district in Nangarhar, stating at least 94 militants had been killed in the incident including four of their top commanders.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said no civilians were harmed in the massive blast that targeted a network of caves and tunnels that had been heavily mined.
US 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. However, a statement released on Friday through IS' media wing, Amaq News Agency, said none of the terror group's fighters were killed or injured.
On April 13, USA forces deployed an MOAB in the Achin District of the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.
Footage released by the United States shows the bomb's devastating power.
President Ashraf Ghani threw his support behind the bombardment, saying it was "designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and U.S. forces conducting clearance operations in the region".
While some Afghan residents are praising Trump and are even asking for more strikes, the former president of the country, Hamid Karzai, called the bombing "brutal" and "inhuman".
The Pentagon has confirmed that the 21,600lb-bomb, worth $300 million, killed 36 ISIS fighters and destroyed several tunnels and ammunition caches in the area.
"Afghan Army and Commandos are leading this fight against these barbaric terrorists on behalf of the people of Afghanistan", he stated.
"This was the right weapon against the right target", Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr., commander for US forces in Afghanistan, said Friday at a news conference.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said the action was taken in coordination with his military and added that the bombing was "designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and USA forces conducting clearance operations in the region".
The strike came as US President Donald Trump prepares to dispatch his first high-level delegation to Kabul, amid uncertainty about his plans for the almost 9000 American troops stationed in Afghanistan.
"The earth felt like a boat in a storm", one villager who lived near the blast told The Guardian. I will say this: "I think China has really been working very hard", he said.
Some in Pakistan said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village.
"Fortunately there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack", Mr Khogyani said.
The attack occurred at 7:32PM on Thursday, and according to Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Radmanesh, at least 37 IS militants died in the blast.