Wednesday 13 December 2017

Isil caves still intact after 'Mother of All Bombs'

Afghan Special Forces inspect a cave which was used by suspected Isil militants at the site where a MOAB, or ‘Mother of All Bombs’, struck the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Photos: Parwiz/Reuters
Afghan Special Forces inspect a cave which was used by suspected Isil militants at the site where a MOAB, or ‘Mother of All Bombs’, struck the Achin district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Photos: Parwiz/Reuters

Jonathan Gray

Pictures have emerged of the Isil tunnel network in Afghanistan which the US targeted with "the Mother of All Bombs".

The US dropped the bomb - its largest explosive short of a nuclear weapon - on April 13, targeting what it said was a tunnel complex used by the jihadist group's Afghan affiliate.

The GBU-43/B weighs 9,797kg and was dropped from a cargo plane. It has the equivalent power of 11 tonnes of TNT explosives.

But Reuters photographs from the scene of the blast in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan gave an ambiguous sense of the bomb's power.

Afghan special forces troops entered one of the caves used by suspected Isil fighters and found the tunnels apparently undamaged by the explosion.

Trees immediately around the blast site had scorched branches and a few small houses were partially destroyed.

Burnt trees and some partially destroyed buildings were visible at the site. Photo: Parwiz/Reuters
Burnt trees and some partially destroyed buildings were visible at the site. Photo: Parwiz/Reuters

But only a few hundred yards away other trees were perfectly intact and still had leaves on their branches, belying claims that the explosion may have sent a destructive blast wave for up to a mile, according to Reuters.

The bomb was dropped on a remote corner of eastern Afghanistan and it has been difficult to assess exactly what impact it had.

Afghan officials claimed that nearly 100 militants and no civilians were killed by the blast but those claims have not been independently verified.

The Trump administration pointed to its use of the enormous bomb as a sign of its determination during a tense and ongoing standoff with North Korea. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Afghan Special Forces inspect inside a cave. Photo: Parwiz/Reuters
Afghan Special Forces inspect inside a cave. Photo: Parwiz/Reuters

Telegraph.co.uk

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