Authorities in India claim that over 500 Pakistani soldiers were killed by the recent MOAB strike in Afghanistan.
Whilst US officials say that 90 Islamic State militants died from the huge non-nuclear bomb, Indian authorities say that an additional 500 Pakistani nationals (who were protective ISIS operative in the area) were also killed.
One India reports that the area that was targetted was controlled by the Islamic State and protected by the Pakistan army, sources say.
The operation that was jointly coordinated by the 201 Selab Corps of the Afghanistan army targeted the caves and tunnels that were used as hiding places by the IS. It is now clear that the Pakistan army was backing these IS operatives in Afghanistan, official sources also confirmed.
Indian agencies who are coordinating withe counterparts in Afghanistan have learnt that there are no civilians living in the area. There were a large number of stooges of the Inter-Services intelligence who have been protecting the IS operatives in this area. The US action comes at a time when there was a huge build-up of IS forces in Afghanistan.
Indian agencies say that the Pakistan army and the ISI were nurturing these operatives. The entire area that was bombed was under the control of the ISI officials backing the IS, sources also said. The impact of the bomb was so huge that it blew up at least 500 Pakistanis and an equal number of IS operatives.
So, while India seems pleased with the result of the US bombing, not everyone else is. Reuters reports that former Afghan president Hamid Karzai accused his successor on Saturday of committing treason by allowing the U.S. military to drop the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat during an operation against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.
Karzai, who also vowed to “stand against America”, retains considerable influence within Afghanistan’s majority Pashtun ethnic group, to which President Ashraf Ghani also belongs. His strong words could signal a broader political backlash that may endanger the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan.
“How could you permit Americans to bomb your country with a device equal to an atom bomb?” Karzai said at a public event in Kabul, questioning Ghani’s decision. “If the government has permitted them to do this, that was wrong and it has committed a national treason.”
“I decided to get America off my soil,” he said. “This bomb wasn’t only a violation of our sovereignty and a disrespect to our soil and environment, but will have bad effects for years.”
Ghani’s office said the strike had been closely coordinated between Afghan and U.S. forces and replied to Karzai’s charges with a statement saying:
“Every Afghan has the right to speak their mind. This is a country of free speech.”
Public reaction to Thursday’s strike has been mixed, with some residents near the blast praising Afghan and U.S. troops for pushing back the Islamic State militants.