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Canada Mourns Soldiers, Journalist Afghan Deaths

Thursday, 31 Dec 2009 11:02 AM

A massive roadside bomb has killed four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist in a dramatic signal of an upsurge of violence in the crucial battleground around Kandahar city.

The blast hit a military convoy patrolling near Dand, considered a relatively peaceful district in the restive south that had been the focus of Canadian counterinsurgency efforts in recent months. The brazen nature of the strike on a road frequently travelled by Afghan civilians and soldiers threatens to undermine gains Canadians had made in the area.

It was a deadly day for foreign forces in Afghanistan, with eight American CIA agents killed by a suicide bombing at a U.S. base in Khost province. The attacks were seen as part of a major salvo against the U.S.-led troop surge in the region and shattering the typically peaceful winter season when Taliban fighters normally lay low, or regroup in neighbouring Pakistan.

Four additional Canadian soldiers and one Canadian civilian official were also injured in yesterday's IED blast and were airlifted from the wreckage to the military hospital at Kandahar Air Field, where they were in stable condition last night.

The strike was one of the deadliest attacks on Canadian troops since their mission in Afghanistan began in 2002 and marks the first death of a Canadian journalist participating in the military's media embedding program in the country.

Michelle Lang, a 34-year-old reporter with the Calgary Herald, was travelling in the armoured vehicle with a provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar when she was killed.

To read full Globe and Mail story — Go Here Now.

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Thursday, 31 Dec 2009 11:02 AM
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