Suicide bomber attacks Canadian convoy in Afghanistan
12 March 2008
KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber attacked a Canadian military convoy in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing an Afghan civilian and wounding four others, including a Canadian soldier, officials said.
The bomber, driving a car packed with explosives, targeted a NATO military convoy of Canadian soldiers in Kandahar city, the provincial capital of the same name, a police official at the site of the attack said.
The police official, who did not want to be named, said that one Afghan civilian was killed and five others, including two Canadian soldiers, were wounded in the attack.
Captain Mark Gough, spokesman for NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kandahar airfield, however, said that one ISAF soldier "was slightly wounded in the blast."
Gough confirmed that one Afghan civilian was killed, adding "No ISAF soldiers were killed in the incident."
"We strongly condemn this cowardly attack on civilian population," Gough said.
Witness Ustad Amin said that after the explosion the Canadian forces cordoned off the area, not allowing journalists or local citizens to get close to the site.
Ahmad Perwiz, another witness, said that he saw at least three civilians stained with blood before they were rushed to hospital, but he could not say if they were wounded or dead.
He said a Canadian military vehicle was also destroyed in the attack and a market near the blast site caught fire and fire trucks had arrived at the scene.
Around 2, 500 Canadian forces are stationed in the southern province of Kandahar, a strong-hold for Taliban militants, whose government was toppled in late 2001.
Wednesday’s incident came a day after a Canadian soldier was found dead in a room at Kandahar Airfield, the Canadian defence ministry said in a statement posted at its website.
"A Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigation is ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this tragedy," the statement said, adding, "No further details are available at this time, although enemy action has been ruled out."
The deceased soldier was identified as Bombardier Jérémie Ouellet, 22, 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.
[Copyright dpa 2008]