America drops largest non-nuclear weapon on Afghanistan in military first

The mother of all bombs
(Image credit: USAF via Getty Images)

The United States used its largest non-nuclear weapon in Afghanistan on Thursday, marking the first time the bomb has ever been used in combat. Nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," or "MOAB," the GBU-43/B weighs 21,000 pounds and was used to target a series of caves in the Nangarhar Province, where members of the Islamic State are believed to be living.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr described the region as a "remote area" with a "minimum chance of civilian casualties," although reconnaissance will be required to understand the full effects of its detonation.

"It will feel like a nuclear blast to anyone in the area," Lt Col. Rick Francona told CNN, adding it would kill people for "hundreds of meters." Read more about the history of the weapon at The Week, here. Jeva Lange

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This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article overstated the size of the bomb. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

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