The US has dropped what has been described as the largest non-nuclear bomb in the country’s arsenal on an area of Eastern Afghanistan known to be populated by Isis-affiliated militants.
The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the 21,000lb weapon had been used in combat operations.
A spokesperson for the US Department of Defence confirmed to The Independent that a MC-130 aircraft dropped a GBU-43 bomb at 7pm local time.
The weapon is known in the US Air Force by its nickname MOAB, or “mother of all bombs”. MOAB stands for massive ordinance air blast.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the US had used a “large, powerful and accurately-delivered weapon” to disrupt the movements of militants in the country.
Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by fighters affiliated to Isis in the Achin district of Nangarhar, close to the border with Pakistan.
The Pentagon said the mission had been in the planning stages for months. However, they “did not have the information” on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.
“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against Isis,” General John Nicholson, the head of US and international forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement.