The family members of those from Kerala who joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan have no information about their well-being after the United States of America dropped the Mother of All Bombs or the MOAB on Thursday. The largest-most powerful non-nuclear bomb was dropped on an area where the IS operatives had set shop in tunnels and caves.
The US claims that several IS operatives were killed along with Pakistanis who were backing the outfit.
On Friday, there were a lot of exchanges between some on the messaging application telegram confirming to relatives that some Keralites who had joined the IS had, in fact, died in the bombing. Indian officials say that the entire team of recruits from Kerala were in the vicinity of where the IS had set up its base in Nangarhar province.
In a message sent out to the family members, a woman who had also joined the outfit in Afghanistan confirmed the death of at least two persons. Mughira informed Mohammad Haider, a resident of Kasargod in Kerala that his son and her husband Murshid had been killed.
Murshid had flown to Iran from the UAE before making his entry into Afghanistan. Agencies do not have much information on Mughira, but say that she could have married Murshid in Afghanistan. She may be a recruiter, agency officials say.
Today, the agencies are trying to ascertain the extent of damage the MOAB may have caused in Nangarhar. "We are trying to ascertain the fate of the rest of the recruits and prima facie it appears that the bomb may have hit them too," says the official. In all, 21 persons from Kerala joined the Afghan Khorasan of the IS. Agencies have confirmation about the death of three which includes Hafesuddin who had been killed in a drone strike in February.