Karzai hits out at Trump over use of GBU-43 bomb - NEWS SENTRY

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Karzai hits out at Trump over use of GBU-43 bomb


Immense atrocity against Afghan people, says ex-President

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday that the U.S. is using Afghanistan as a weapons testing ground, calling the recent use of the largest-ever non-nuclear bomb “an immense atrocity against the Afghan people”.

Last week, U.S. forces dropped the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb in eastern Nangarhar province, reportedly killing 95 militants.

Mr. Karzai, in an interview with The Associated Press, objected to the decision, saying that his country “was used very disrespectfully by the U.S. to test its weapons of mass destruction.”

The office of President Ashraf Ghani said following the bomb’s usage that there was “close coordination” between the U.S. military and the Afghan government over the operation, and they were careful to prevent any civilian casualties.

Criticises Afghan govt.

But Mr. Karzai harshly criticised the Afghan government for allowing the use of the bomb.

Mr. Trump called the operation a “very, very successful mission” but Mr. Karzai had harsh words for the new U.S. leader.

“My message to President Trump today is that he has committed an immense atrocity against the Afghan people, against fellow human beings,” he said.

Mr. Karzai added that one of the fundamental reasons that he refused to sign the bilateral security agreement with the United States when he was the President was specifically to prevent such actions.

The U.S. estimates 600-800 IS fighters are in Afghanistan, mostly in Nangarhar. American forces have concentrated on fighting them while also supporting Afghan forces against the Taliban. The U.S. has more than 8,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

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