Canadian toll in Afghanistan reaches 100
The Canadian toll in the Afghan war reached 100 Friday when three more soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device near Kandahar.world Updated: Dec 06, 2008 11:04 IST
The Canadian toll in the Afghan war reached 100 Friday when three more soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) near Kandahar.
Canada, which joined the US-led coalition against the Taliban in 2002, has 2,500 troops deployed in the volatile Kandahar province to fight insurgency.
The Canadian mission, which was to end next year, has now been extended till December 2011.
The three soldiers were killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by the IED in Arghandab district in the province, reports from Kandahar said.
"This was a very large IED. It killed them all instantly without question," said Brigadier-general Denis Thompson who commands the Canadian forces in Kandahar.
All the three soldiers came from the Toronto area. Two other Canadian soldiers were also injured in another explosion earlier during a joint patrol with Afghan forces in Zhari district west of Kandahar city.
In his tribute to the fallen soldiers, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, "As your prime minister, I want to express my condolences to the family and friends of these three brave soldiers.
"But I have to tell you I never feel able to put the depths of my feelings at times like this into adequate words.
"These are very special people who have put their lives on the line in the service of their fellow human being and in devotion to their country."
The prime minister added, "It is because of them, now and throughout our history, that we are able to celebrate our Christmas in such peace and prosperity.
"It is because of them that we have this wonderful country. It is their gift to us."