Footage released by the U.S. shows the bomb's devastating power.
The region butts up against the porous Pakistan border. It was the first time this type of bomb had been used in combat and was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.
Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier.
Afghan officials claim 36 IS fighters were killed in the explosion.
The Examiner's source added Nicholson had mulled using the MOAB - informally known as the "Mother Of All Bombs" - in Afghanistan well before President Trump's inauguration in January.
"The strike has destroyed an ISIS headquarters, three ISIS hideouts along with several bunkers and deep tunnels as well as huge amount of weapons and ammunition", the Afghanistan Defense Ministry statement said.
The strike was created to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations, while maximizing the destruction of ISIS fighters and facilities, said the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, which is part of the NATO-led Resolute Support.
A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, the.
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Pakistani villagers living near the Afghan border said the explosion was so loud they thought a bomb had been dropped in their village by USA warplanes targeting terrorists in Pakistan.
In Achin village, about 5 kilometres from the remote, mountainous area where the bomb was dropped, witnesses said the ground shook, but homes and shops appeared unaffected.
Gen Nicholson defended the strike despite many in the war-ravaged country questioning as to why the America used this massive bomb in Afghanistan when it has never been used in Iraq and Syria.
"As a result of the bombing, key Daesh (IS) hideouts and deep tunnel complex were destroyed and 36 IS fighters were killed", the United States defence ministry said in a statement. President Donald Trump called Thursday's operation a "very, very successful mission".
On Saturday, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai criticised both the Afghan and United States governments for the attack.
The statement said it is the responsibility of Afghans, not the USA, to remove the Islamic State group from the country.
The strike using the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB, was carried out Thursday against an Islamic State group tunnel complex carved into the mountains that Afghan forces had tried to assault repeatedly in recent weeks in fierce fighting in Nangarhar province.
This comes as the Afghan forces conducted counter-terrorism operations in the restive districts of Nangarhar under the Hamza operations launched almost two weeks ago. Over the past year they have largely concentrated on thwarting a surge of attacks by the Taliban, who have captured key districts, such as the Helmand province, which American and British troops had fought bitterly to return to the government.