US national security advisor visits Afghanistan after massive bomb attack

US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 20, 2017. (AFP photo)

US National Security Advisor H.R McMaster has arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul days after the US military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on suspected Daesh (ISIL) positions in eastern Afghanistan.

On his first visit to the country on Sunday as US President Donald Trump's envoy, McMaster said on Twitter he was set to hold "very important talks on mutual cooperation."

Trump announced on Wednesday he is sending McMaster to Afghanistan to assess the situation for US troops on the ground.

On Thursday, the US military dropped its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs", on suspected ISIL hideouts in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, killing nearly a hundred militants.

The MOAB weighs about 22,000 pounds (10,000 kg) and is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed. It was developed during the US war on Iraq and is intended to target large below-surface areas.

The Pentagon said the strike was the first time the enormous conventional bomb had been used in combat.

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Military experts say the blast would “feel like a nuclear weapon to anyone near the area."

The attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning Washington for using Afghanistan as a testing ground for US weapons. It came a week after Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack.

On Saturday, Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai blasted the government in Kabul for allowing the US to drop the massive bomb on his country.

"If the government has permitted them to do this, that was wrong and it has committed a national treason," Karzai said during a speech, adding, "How could you permit Americans to bomb your country with a device equal to an atom bomb?"

In an interview with The New York Times hours after his speech, Karzai said there was no justification for the United States to drop the powerful bomb in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is still suffering from insecurity and violence years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The military invasion removed the Taliban from power, but their militancy continues to this day.

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