Only Friday was the Afghan army able to enter the area where the 11-ton bomb was dropped last Thursday by the Americans in the Achin district, eastern Nangarhar province.
But some videos, filmed around two days after the explosion, are the first ones being circulated. These were recorded after the Americans opened the sealed area around the blast area. These videos show the first impact of the destruction and the effects of a bomb considered second only to the atomic bomb: the most powerful non-nuclear bomb, whose effects are still secret and will probably remain so.
But while the first Afghan soldiers were given permission to visit the area, 500 km further north in the Balkh province, the Taliban executed the bloodiest attack against a national military target. They left more than 100 dead soldiers.
The dynamics of the attack on Friday against the military base of the 209th Shaheen Corps in the Balkh province, a city surrounded by a turbaned guerrilla belt for several years, is still being reconstructed.
What is certain is that the guerrillas claimed responsibility for the attack, carried out by a suicide bomber and an armed commando (a dozen of them were killed). They waited for a moment of down time, when some soldiers were attending the Friday prayers, and, at 1:30 p.m., while the other comrades were on their lunch break.
They were able to pass the checkpoints, probably helped by traitors. Then, they slaughtered them with Kalashnikov shots fired from military vehicles that perhaps misled the controls at the entrance. Officially, the death toll is around 100 casualties, but different sources indicate at least 130 to 140 dead and at least 60 injured.
In the early hours, the figures were much lower: The first report indicated about 10 casualties. Maybe they thought that by hiding the truth, the effect of the action would be reduced.
The partial lies and the open fabrications are a constant in war propaganda, and Afghanistan is no exception. And neither is the story of the GBU-43 / B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), the mother of all bombs.
The refrain from the beginning, while waiting for a final official report on the effects, has been that the bomb did not cause any civilian casualties. This was also confirmed by the Ministry of Health. But some videos shot outside the area sealed by the Americans and in areas near the blast area, show bodies with obvious signs of burns, destroyed houses and a landscape devastated by the air and heat waves that — according to the capabilities of that bomb — can kill at a great distance.
On Friday, however, a few hours after the explosion, the Americans felt the need to advance an apology in the event of “possible civilian casualties.” Luca Lo Presti tells us about it. He is the president of Onlus Pangea, one of the few Italian organizations (with Emergency) that still operate in Afghanistan, which offers microcredit projects in Kabul and protection of children and women.
“I got news about the bomb from Italy on Thursday evening,” Lo Presti says. “I was in Kabul that night, I slept in the house of an Afghan family. I felt an incredible pain seeing the frail bodies of those unsuspecting children resting in their beds. Then, the following day, I watched on TV a top U.S. Army officer apologize if the bomb had caused side effects on civilians.”
But nobody has mentioned civilian casualties specifically, and the news from the blast area comes out in dribs and drabs while former President Karzai — the only one who raised his voice — accuses the government of renouncing to its territorial sovereignty to allow Trump to test devices. He even said that the bomb was dropped under the Afghan government’s supervision.
But what seems more comical, if not totally tragic, is that the authorities have provided the names, surnames, ethnic origin and role in subversive organizations (including the Pakistani Taliban) of some of the 90 bodies of members of the Islamic State who were crushed under the bomb dropped on the ghost village of Assadkhil, in Mohmand Dara. How come they found bodies, or even bones and DNA of the victims, is a mystery.
And while the war rages, one wonders why no one has yet called for an independent inquiry commission. Rather than a bomb of justice, it is a crime against humanity and the planet.