Top US official visits Afghanistan after huge bomb attack

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (centre) hosts a meeting with US National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster in Kabul.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (centre) hosts a meeting with US National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster in Kabul.PHOTO: TWITTER/ARG_AFG
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (right) in a discussion with US National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster in Kabul.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (right) in a discussion with US National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster in Kabul.PHOTO: TWITTER/ARG_AFG

KABUL (AFP) - US National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster arrived in Kabul on Sunday (April 16), days after the American military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State group hideouts in eastern Afghanistan, killing nearly a hundred militants.

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

"Welcome Lt. Gen. HR #McMaster to Kabul and thank you for your continuous support," Afghanistan's presidential palace tweeted.

A statement from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s office later said Gen McMaster discussed security issues and counter-terrorism efforts as well as reforms aimed at tackling corruption.  

https://twitter.com/SecAdviserUSA/status/853333158695141379

“As a result of joint Afghan and international forces efforts, no safe havens will be left for terrorists in Afghanistan,” Gen McMaster was quoted as saying in a readout that gave few clues to the Trump administration’s future course of action in the country.

On Thursday, the US military in Afghanistan dropped its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs", in combat for the first time on ISIS hideouts in the Achin district of Nangarhar province.

Afghanistan's defence ministry on Sunday put the death toll at 95 militants and no civilians.

The attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered as big a threat as the resurgent Taliban.

It came a week after Mr Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, and as China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising US tensions with North Korea.