Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Deaths of Three Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan
June 20, 2007 - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the deaths of three Canadian soldiers:
"I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the families of Sergeant Christos Karigiannis, Corporal Stephen Bouzane and Private Joel Wiebe, who were killed today in Afghanistan.These three dedicated Canadian soldiers lost their lives when the vehicle they were traveling in struck an improvised explosive device while conducting a re-supply operation between two checkpoints in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar province.This is a tragic loss for Canada and the Canadian Forces - but it was not in vain. Afghans are re-establishing themselves and their communities, and their lives are improving. They see the positive work we are doing in contributing to stability and a lasting peace. Thanks to the bravery of solders like Sergeant Karigiannis, Corporal Bouzane and Private Wiebe, we are making great progress in this region in creating a better future for the Afghan people.Sergeant Karigiannis, Corporal Bouzane and Private Wiebe, all of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, were three great Canadians who will be missed by the Canadian Forces family, their communities and Canadians everywhere - we will always remember them."