TwoCanadian soldierswere killed and three were injured in two separate roadside bombings in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the military has confirmed.

Master Cpl. Allan Stewart, 30,and Trooper Patrick James Pentland, 23,of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, were based in Petawawa, Ont.

The attacks happened within hours of each other, in locationsless than one kilometre apart, saidCol. Mike Cessford, the deputy commander of the Canadian contingent in Afghanistan.


One of the three wounded Canadian soldiers, centre, is helped into the military hospital in Kandahar after the Wednesday bombings. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

Their injured colleagues were in stable condition.

"As you can appreciate, our thoughts are with the families of the soldiers that we have lost," Cessford told reporters in Kandahar after the attacks. "All soldiers are thinking of these families."

He said the bombings occurred about 38 kilometres west of Kandahar on Wednesday night. The second bomb, which exploded next to a Canadian military vehicle, took the greatest toll — killing the two soldiers and injuring two.

The soldiershit in the second bombingwere attempting to help their colleagues who were struck by the first bomb, the Canadian Defence Department said in a news release. The first bombing, which also occurred next to a Canadian military vehicle, injured one soldier.


Col. Mike Cessford answers reporters' questions at the Canadian military base in Kandahar.

Cessfordsaidall three injured soldiers were taken by helicopter to a military hospital in Kandahar.

Cessford would not elaborate on the attacks or say what type of vehicles the soldiers had been in.

There was a third bomb attack on Canadian soldiers on Wednesday, at about noon, but no one was injured, said Chris Brown of CBC News, reporting from Kandahar.

Canada has now lost 53 soldiers and one diplomat in Afghanistan sincethe missionbegan in2002.

Latest deaths follow Easter casualties

The latest casualties came just three days after six soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the troubled country. The bodies of the six arrived at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in southeastern Ontario on Wednesday night.

The six were killed Sunday when their armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb west ofthe city of Kandahar, resultingin the worst single-day loss of life for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Brown reported that many soldiers in Afghanistan went to bed Wednesday night unaware their colleagues had been injuredor killed.

Brown predicted the soldiers will be devastated when they wake up Thursday morning and hear the news.

"It's really going to be a body blow," Brown said. "Canada has had bad weeks [in Afghanistan], but this is really looking like the worst."