WASHINGTON - Video released by the Department of Defense shows the impact of the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military.
The bomb, known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon, unleashed 11 tons of explosives on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Afghanistan. 36 Islamic State group fighters were killed in the blast.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that several IS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed by the giant bomb, which terrified villagers on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border with its "earsplitting blast."
The MOAB is a custom-made Air Force weapon that has been in the arsenal for more than a decade but never used on the battlefield, although it was available throughout the Iraq war. It is designed to hit softer targets such as surface facilities, tunnel entrances and troop concentrations. It is pushed out the rear of the launching aircraft, guided to its target by GPS and slowed by a parachute.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.