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36 Islamic State fighters killed by 'mother of all bombs'

US forces and Afghan commando patrol Pandola village near the site of a US bombing in the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul Picture by Rahmat Gul/AP

The US has used "the mother of all bombs" to attack a tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan, killing 36 Islamic State group fighters.

The bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the US military, is known officially as a GBU-43B, or massive ordnance air blast weapon. It unleashes 11 tons of explosives.

Pentagon officials described it as the "mother of all bombs".

Afghanistan officials said there were no civilian casualties from the attack. A statement from the Ministry of Defence statement said several IS caves and ammunition caches were also destroyed.

Hakim Khan (50), a resident of Achin district in Jalalabad where the attack took place, welcomed the attack on Isis.

"I want 100 times more bombings on this group," he said.

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said 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 "ear-splitting blast".

The US military headquarters in Kabul said the bomb was dropped at about 7.30pm local time on a tunnel complex in Nangarhar province, where the Afghan affiliate of IS has been operating. The target was close to the Pakistani border.

Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by US warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.

The US estimates 600 to 800 IS fighters are present in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar.

The US has concentrated heavily on combating them while also supporting Afghan forces battling the Taliban.

US president Donald Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission".

Inamullah Meyakhil, spokesman for the central hospital in eastern Nangarhar province, said the facility had received no dead or wounded from the attack.

District governor Ismail Shinwari said there is no civilian property near the air strike location.

There was no immediate comment from IS or other militants regarding the US bomb attack.

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