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Pope deplores ‘mother of all bombs’ name ahead of Trump visit

Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's wife asked the Pope to 'speak up' (CNS)

Pope Francis has criticised the US military for naming the largest explosive in its arsenal the “mother of all bombs”.

He was speaking weeks before he receives US President Donald Trump, who authorised the use of the bomb against ISIS militants in Afghanistan last month.

The 21,600lb (9,800kg) Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) explosive is nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs” because of its acronym and immense power.

The Pope told an audience of students at the Vatican: “I was ashamed when I heard the name.

“A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother. What is going on?”

MOAB is delivered by parachute from a C-130 Hercules plane and has a blast radius a mile wide.

Bill Roggio of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies think tank, told the Air Force Times: “What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire.”

Mr Trump will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 24.