Al-Qaeda kills three Canadian troops in ambushSeptember 4th, 2008 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS
Toronto, Sep 4 (IANS) With three more soldiers killed in an Al-Qaeda ambush Wednesday, the Canadian toll in Afghanistan is about to reach 100 in the six-year-old battle against insurgents in Kandahar province.Since 2002, 96 Canadian troops have lost their lives in Afghanistan.
As part of the 50,000-plus international force, 2,500 Canadian troops are fighting the Al-Qaeda insurgents in Kandahar province.
Just two weeks ago, in its first direct threat to any US ally in the war on terror, the Taliban had warned Canada that either it quit Afghanistan or face increased attacks on its troops and aid workers.
Reports said the three Canadian troops were killed when their vehicle was ambushed by Al-Qaeda in Zhari district of Kandahar early Wednesday morning.
Five other soldiers were also injured in the ambush. All the soldiers were about to complete their battle duty and return home.
“It saddens me to think of their loved ones who were expecting them home this month,” said Denis Thompson, Canadian forces’ commander in Afghanistan.
“We will honour their memory by remaining steadfast in our efforts to help the people of Afghanistan.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: “It is a tremendous tragedy. Our sympathies are with them (families).These are tremendously brave men and women who put their lives on the line for this country, for its values and to help their fellow human beings . . . they do it voluntarily.”
The Canadian mission that ends in 2011 has come under criticism from the combined opposition and the public at large.