Thursday, December 31, 2009
The blast of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar, Afghanistan killed four Canadian soldiers and one journalist, while also injuring a civilian and four other soldiers.
The group was travelling as part of a provincial reconstruction team when the attack, which took place at 4PM local time, when the armoured vehicle they were travelling in struck the IED approximately 1,500 metres from the Dand district centre, which Canadians had helped rebuild after a suicide attack in April. This attack comes on the same day as an attack that killed eight US civilians and one week after the death of Lieutenant Andrew Nuttall. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Brigadier General Daniel Ménard has stated Dand continues to be a "safe area" and stated confidence the attack was an isolated incident.
Those injured in the attack were moved to the field hospital at Kandahar Airfield and are expected to survive. No further details on the injured, including their names and conditions are expected to be released.
The deceased soldiers were identified as Sergeant George Miok, Sergeant Kirk Taylor, Corporal Zackery McCormack and Private Garrett Chidley. The journalist was identified as Michelle Lang, 34, of Calgary, a reporter with the Calgary Herald, on secondment to the Canwest News Service for a six week tour with the Canadian Forces in Kandahar. The US Ambassador to Canada, as well as Governor General Michaelle Jean have issued statements expressing condolences for those lost in the incident.
To date, 138 soldiers and four civilians have died in the war-torn country. Lang is the first Canadian journalist to die in the conflict, with seven journalists from other countries also having died.
== Related news ==
"Afghanistan suicide bomb leaves eight Americans dead" — Wikinews, December 31, 2009
== Sources ==
Canwest News Service. "Canwest journalist, 4 soldiers die in Afghan blast" — Calgary Herald, December 30, 2009
"5 Canadians killed in Afghanistan" — CBC News, December 30, 2009
"Calgary journalist killed in Afghanistan" — CTV Calgary, December 30, 2009
"Insurgent bomb blast kills Canadian reporter, 4 soldiers in Kandahar" — The Canadian Press, December 30, 2009
Jonathon Burch. "Afghan suicide blast kills eight U.S. civilians" — Reuters, December 30, 2009
Bill Graveland, CP. "Condolence messages pouring in for reporter killed in Afghanistan" — Metro News, December 31, 2009
"President Karzai extends condolences after bombs kill Canadians, Americans" — The Canadian Press, December 31, 2009
David Jacobson. "December 30, 2009" — US Ambassadors Blog, December 30, 2009
Michaelle Jean. "Statement from Governor General re: death of 4 soldiers and one journalist" — Governor General of Canada, December 30, 2009
"Names of Four Soldiers Released" — Calgary Herald, December 31, 2009