Saturday, November 17, 2007

2 NATO Soldiers and Interpreter Killed

Two soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and their interpreter were killed Saturday morning in southern Afghanistan when their vehicle was caught in an improvised explosive devices explosion, said an ISAF statement.
A further three soldiers were also injured in the same incident who are currently undergoing treatment at an ISAF medical facility, the statement added.
In accordance with ISAF policy, ISAF does not release the casualty's nationality prior to the relevant national authority doing so.
Some 55,000 foreign troops are being deployed in the war-torn Afghanistan for keeping security and fighting terrorism.

Bless all our NATO soldiers and and their families.

UPDATED (11 am):
Two Canadian Soldiers Killed:
Cpl. Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp of the 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier
(28 yrs of age)
To view or sign the guestbook for the family of Cpl Beauchamp,
Pte. Michel Levesque of the Royal 22nd (25 yrs old)
To view or sign the guestbook for the family of Pte Levesque,

Their Afghan interpreter were killed and three other soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Kandahar province early today. The soldiers were traveling in a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) when it struck a landmine on a road near Bazar-e Panjwaii, west of Kandahar City. The three soldiers wounded in the attack were transported to hospital at Kandahar Air Field. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening, a Canadian Forces official said. “ISAF troops contend with the threat of (bomb) strikes on a daily basis, but our soldiers continue to improve the security situation and make a very real and positive difference to the lives of normal hardworking Afghan people,” said Wing Commander Antony McCord, a spokesman for Regional Command South. “Our thoughts at this time are with the families and friends of those who have been killed or injured in today’s incident,” he said in the ISAF statement. Today, a series of clashes in southern Afghanistan left 33 suspected Taliban militants dead, while a suicide bomber in the east wounded a NATO soldier, officials said. At least four police officers also died in the fighting. Twenty-three Taliban militants were killed during a U.S.-led coalition operation aimed at disrupting a weapons transfer in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said today. A truck apparently full of Taliban weapons exploded during the operation in Helmand province’s Garmsir district. The coalition said it didn’t known what triggered the explosion. Coalition troops detained 11 people suspected of being part of a weapons running operation. Elsewhere in Kandahar province, Canadian and Afghan troops battled militants in the Zhari district today, leaving at least 10 suspected militants dead, according to provincial police chief Sayed Agha Saqeb. Authorities recovered the bodies of four of the dead militants alongside their weapons and ammunition, Saqeb said. There were no casualties among the Canadian and Afghan troops. In a separate attack yesterday, one Afghan civilian was killed and two others injured when a suicide bomber on a motorbike ignited against a passing ISAF convoy in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province. The ISAF vehicle was badly damaged but only one ISAF service member sustained minor injuries. “Once again we have an incident in which Afghan civilians end up suffering from Taliban extremists using indiscriminate weapons,” said Brig.-Gen. Carlos Branco, an ISAF spokesman. “Eighty per cent of the victims of Taliban suicide bombings are civilians."

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Deaths of Two Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the death of two Canadian soldiers and one Afghan interpreter and the wounding of three soldiers:"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp and Private Michel Jr. Levesque, who died yesterday in Afghanistan. I would like to extend my condolences to their families and friends during this very difficult time. I also wish a quick recovery for the other Canadian soldiers injured in this incident.My sympathies also go out to the family and friends of an Afghan interpreter who lost his life in this incident. This courageous Afghan national gave his life in support of the mission to help Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and the hope for a better future.These soldiers were participating in a joint operation to further stabilize the Panjwayi district, west of Kandahar City. These soldiers were in Afghanistan to help bring back hope to a population that has seen much hardship and turmoil.Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the democratically elected government, and as part of a UN-sanctioned mission to help build a stable, democratic, and self-sufficient society. Rebuilding schools, hospitals, and roads as well as training Afghan security forces cannot occur in an unstable environment. Our Canadian Forces members are playing a key role in this NATO-led mission, helping improve the security situation in order to create the conditions necessary for Afghans to live normal lives.We will remain forever grateful for the sacrifice of these brave soldiers, and we are all saddened by the loss of these exceptional Canadians."

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada:
My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and I were deeply saddened to learn of the recent deaths of two soldiers Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp, 5e Ambulance de campagne, and Private Michel Jr. Levesque, 3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Regiment, both based out of Valcartier, Quebec, as well as the death of an Afghan interpreter, west of Kandahar, in Afghanistan.Our thoughts are with their families, friends and loved ones, whose anguish, suffering and distress are unimaginable. We also extend our wishes for courage and a prompt recovery to those injured in this tragedy.These soldiers and their comrades went to Afghanistan with confidence in the importance of their mission: to rebuild this war-torn country, and to restore and maintain peace for its people. They offered up the very best of themselves, right to the end. We will never forget them.Michaelle Jean
Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp was member of 5e Ambulance de campagne and Private Michel Jr Levesque was members of 3e Bataillon of Royal 22e Regiment, based out of Valcartier Quebec.
Statement by the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Opposition:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp of the 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier and Private Michel Lévesque of Quebec’s Royal 22nd Regiment, killed in Afghanistan this morning. This immense tragedy drives home the very real perils that members of the Canadian Forces face every day, as they risk their lives to create a safer and more secure world for the people of Afghanistan. Members of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus join me in expressing our most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and comrades of these brave Canadians as they cope with this tremendous loss. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the family and friends of the Afghan interpreter who also died in the attack, as well as the three other soldiers who were wounded.

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