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Bomb kills 2 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

Bomb kills 2 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb killed two Canadian soldiers, an Afghan police officer and a local interpreter in southern Afghanistan, the Canadian military said.
Warrant Officer Gaetan Roberge and Sgt. Gregory John Kruse were killed Saturday during a security patrol in the Panjway district, in the western part of Kandahar province.
The explosion also wounded four other Canadian soldiers and another Afghan interpreter, a release from the Department of National Defense said.
The wounded soldiers were airlifted to Kandahar Airfield and were reported in good condition. The Afghan interpreter sustained only minor injuries in the blast.
It has been a bloody weekend for Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Pte. Michael Freeman, 28, was killed Friday when his armored vehicle struck an explosive during a security patrol in Zhari district.
The attack that killed Roberge and Kruse happened mere hours before Freeman's flag-covered casket was loaded onto a military aircraft during a ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield.
The latest deaths bring to 106 the number of Canadian soldiers killed in the Afghan mission since 2002. One diplomat and two aid workers have also been killed.
Canada has about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, most of whom are based in the south around Kandahar. Its military mission is slated to end in 2011.
Roadside bomb attacks have killed nine Canadian soldiers this month. December is now the bloodiest month since April 2007, when nine soldiers were killed.
Defense Minister Peter MacKay and Canada's Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Walter Natynczyk, were in Kandahar visiting troops when they learned of the latest Canadian casualties.
MacKay, who attended the ramp ceremony for Freeman, said the December deaths reflect seasonal flare ups in violence.
"In any insurgency, you're going to see, shall we say, hills and valleys, spikes in violence at certain times of the year," he said.
Canadian forces have staged several major offensives aimed at driving the Taliban from the Panjwai and the neighboring district of Zhari, on the north bank of the Arghandab river, since assuming responsibility for Kandahar province.
Panjwai and Zhari are the birthplace of the Taliban, and the insurgents still hold much sway in the region.
"Zhari and Panjway are the traditional problem areas in Kandahar province, largely because there's a quite complex tribal mix there," said the Canadian commander of coalition forces in Kandahar, Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson.
"And, frankly, this is where the movement started, so it's where its rooted the deepest."


Updated : 2020-11-30 03:25 GMT+08:00