Fri, Jan 09, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Canada loses one soldier in Afghanistan

AFP , OTTAWA

A Canadian soldier was killed and three others were wounded in a roadside blast in Afghanistan on Wednesday, marking Canada’s first war casualties of the year, the military said.

“It greatly saddens me to announce that a Canadian soldier was killed and three others injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armored vehicle,” Colonel Jamie Cade said in a televised address from southern Afghanistan.

“The soldiers were participating in an ongoing operation when the incident occurred,” he said.

The blast occurred at about 8am approximately 35km north of Canada’s base in Kandahar City, and the three wounded were evacuated by helicopter to the base hospital.

“They are reported to be in good condition,” Cade said.

Deceased trooper Brian Richard Good was serving with the Third Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

His death brings Canada’s toll in the war-torn nation to 107 since the start of its mission in 2002, as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Asked about ongoing efforts rid Afghan roads of explosives that have claimed most of these lives, Cade said: “It is definitely a plague and it is difficult to fight.”

“It’s a few people implanting explosives in commonly used routes and some not so common routes,” he said. “It takes a lot of time, work and effort, a wide amount of intelligence collection, technology. We are finding more than we strike. But sometimes, sometimes the insurgents, they get lucky, and, sadly, that was the case today.”

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