Effect of 'Mother of all bombs' felt over a mile away from blast
After his evening prayers, Mohammad Shahzadah closed the house gates and sat down for dinner. Then the blast came, engulfing the sky in flames and sending tremors through the ground.The dead do not tend to have radio chats. This is a pretty good description of what it is like to be near the blast of a large bomb. I got to see after action reports in Vietnam discussing Arclight strikes by B-52s where survivors talked about the concussion tossing them through the air and suffering a loss of hearing. Even seeing them from a distance was impressive.
“The earth felt like a boat in a storm,” Shahzadah said. “I thought my house was being bombed. Last year a drone strike targeted a house next to mine, but this time it felt like the heavens were falling. The children and women were very scared.”
The US dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on eastern Afghanistan on Thursday in another dramatic show of military force by the Trump administration.
The GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the “mother of all bombs” or Moab, targeted tunnels and bunkers in Achin district in Nangarhar province, built by fighters loyal to Islamic State who also kept prisoners there.
A GPS-guided demolition bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, it explodes above ground with a radius of more than a mile.
The bomb was dropped in the mountains close to Moman village in an area called Asadkhel. About 1.5 miles away, in Shaddle Bazar where Shahzadah lives, the impact was palpable.
“My ears were deaf for a while. My windows and doors are broken. There are cracks in the walls,” he said.
The US military said it had killed 36 militants. The following morning around 9am, fighter jets strafed the area, a local police commander, Baaz Jan, said.
“We don’t know who was killed yesterday or this morning. But there is confusion and fear in the radio chats we are intercepting. There is limited communication among Isis fighters,” he said.