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Bomb kills 2 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

world Updated: Aug 23, 2007 10:45 IST

AP
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A powerful explosion ripped into a Canadian armoured vehicle in Afghanistan, killing two soldiers and wounding a journalist for Radio-Canada, officials said.

The light-armored vehicle hit a roadside bomb on Wednesday in the troubled Zhari district of southern Kandahar province, NATO Brigadier General Guy Laroche told reporters at Kandahar Airfield.

The Canadian military did not immediately identify the soldiers, but said they belonged to Quebec's Royal 22nd Regiment, which began its rotation in Afghanistan a few weeks ago.

"These soldiers gave their life helping to bring stability and security to Afghanistan," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement released on Wednesday.

An Afghan interpreter was also killed and one Canadian soldier was wounded, officials said.
Radio-Canada said cameraman Charles Dubois suffered serious leg injuries in the explosion, but its reporter, Patrice Roy, was not wounded.

With the latest casualties, 69 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have lost their lives in Afghanistan since 2002.

Canada has about 2,300 soldiers in the country, mainly operating in Kandahar province, the former Taliban stronghold.

The Afghan mission is unpopular in the French-speaking province of Quebec and rising casualties have cost Harper's Conservative government support there. Harper has said that Canada's combat mission in Afghanistan will not be extended beyond 2009 without a consensus in Parliament.