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US Military Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb on Islamic State (ISIS) underground complex in Afghanistan

A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon is prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center on March 11, 2003. VOA

US, April 13, 2017: The U.S. military says it has dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State underground complex in Afghanistan.

A Pentagon statement said a GBU-43 bomb was dropped Thursday on an IS tunnel complex in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province near the border with Pakistan.

The device, called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, contains 11 tons of explosives. Based on its acronym, the U.S. Air Force has nicknamed it the “Mother of All Bombs.”

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Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said it was the first use of the bomb in a combat situation.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters in Washington he was unaware if President Donald Trump approved the military action, but said “we must deny them [IS] operational space, which we did.”

The bomb was dropped in response to IS’ increasing use of bunkers and tunnels to “thicken their defense,” General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said.

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“This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K,” Nicholson said.

The Pentagon did not indicate how much damage was inflicted on the IS stronghold or whether there were any casualties. (IANS)

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Iran invites Pakistan to join Chabahar project with India

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Iran has invited Pakistan to join Chabahar port project
  • It is a very crucial port of great importance
  • India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has invited Pakistan to participate in the Chabahar Port project that connects India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, a leading Pakistani daily reported on Tuesday.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The move may be seen as Zarif’s bid to allay concerns here over the Indian involvement in the Iranian port, Dawn online reported. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to the daily.

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016 to jointly develop the Chabahar port, opening a new strategic transit route between the three nations and other Central Asian nations, bypassing Pakistan. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and addressed a trade conference. The visiting Foreign Minister is being accompanied by a large trade delegation from Iran.

He also said that Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan. “We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that,” Zarif said.

Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that the Chabahar port project was not meant to “encircle Pakistan … strangulate anybody”, adding that Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran.

Zarif likened Iran’s relations with India to Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia. “Our relations with India, just like Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Islamabad as we understand Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.” IANS