US protesters have staged a demonstration in the capital Washington to denounce last week’s use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan and other US military interventions around the world.
The crowd gathered in front of the White House on Sunday, shouting slogans and carrying placards, as well as staging a die-in, to express their anger at the administration of President Donald Trump for escalating the already protracted war in Afghanistan.
Several Afghan Americans also delivered short speeches during the rally to warn that US forces are destroying Afghanistan and “dehumanizing” its people.
“This bomb is not just destroying the lives of individual people, it’s also destroying Afghanistan’s land, which is needed for livelihood and sustenance,” one speaker said. “So when the media continues to say that they dropped the bomb in the middle of nowhere, please make sure you reject that narrative, it is dehumanizing.”
The rally was the latest in a series of protests since the US military dropped the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB), dubbed the "mother of all bombs", on suspected Daesh (ISIL) hideouts in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province, killing nearly a hundred people, whom the US alleges were all 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 says this is the first time the enormous conventional bomb has been used in combat.
Although President Ashraf Ghani supported the move, many Afghan officials condemned the attack, slamming the US for using their country as a testing ground for new and dangerous weapons.
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US National Security Advisor H.R McMaster arrived in the capital Kabul on Sunday to hold "very important talks on mutual cooperation."
It was McMaster’s first visit to the country as Trump's envoy. Trump announced on Wednesday he was sending McMaster to Afghanistan to assess the situation for US troops on the ground.
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 the militancy continues to this day.