3 more Canadian soldiers die in Afghanistan

December 14th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanToronto, Dec 14 (IANS) Three more Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, taking the country’s toll in the NATO-led war against the Taliban to 103. Reports reaching here said the three soldiers were killed Saturday by an improvised explosive device (IED) just outside of Kandahar city.

Just last week, Canada had lost three soldiers in a similar attack near Kandahar city where 2,500 Canadian troops are fighting the insurgents.

Saturday night’s incident happened when the soldiers responded to a call that insurgents were planting improvised explosive devices on Afghan Highway 1 which connects Kandahar city with Helmand province which has a full US brigade stationed there.

While three soldiers died, another sustained serious injuries.

In Ottawa, the government put out a brief statement about the latest deaths in Afghanistan.

The statement said: “At approximately 9:00 a.m. (Kandahar time), three Canadian soldiers were killed and one was injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near their armoured vehicle during a patrol in the Arghandab district. Primary next of kin of the deceased soldiers have been notified.”

With the Taliban planting improvised explosive devices to disrupt traffic along Highway 1 during the past two years, 17 Canadian soldiers have been killed in these attacks this year alone.

A Canadian-led Operational Liaison Mentoring Team spends many hours every day on a 30-km stretch of this highway - from the village of Howz-e-Madad in Kandahar province to the border of Helmand province - to clear any IEDs.

Highway 1 is the target for the Taliban because it is a major supply route from Kandahar city to a brigade of US soldiers stationed in Maywand district in Helmand province.

The Canadian mission in Afghanistan will officially end in December 2009, though the Americans are trying to persuade Canada to extend the date.

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