A Canadian soldier has died in Afghanistan from what the military calls "non-combat-related wounds."
The body of Bombardier Karl Manning was found Friday by fellow soldiers at a remote outpost in the Zangabad area, 45 kilometres southwest of the Kandahar airfield, Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner said early Saturday.
The Canadian battle group, led by the 1st Battalion Royal 22e Regiment, pushed into the area last December. Manning was near the end of an almost seven-month deployment with the group.
The military will only say enemy action or foul play had no role in his death.
Manning, a 31-year-old radar operator from Chicoutimi, Que., was an artillery soldier who spent the better part of his tour at the outpost amid the villages of western Panjwaii.
"While an investigation is still ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding his death, foul play and enemy action have been ruled out," Milner said.
In a statement Saturday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences to Manning's family and friends, saying "Canada stands behind you in these most trying times."
"Bombardier Karl Manning will be missed by the Canadian Armed Forces family, his community and Canadians everywhere. We will remember his dedication and sacrifice alongside all of those who have lost their lives in the defence of our country," Harper said.
In all, 156 Canadian soldiers and two civilians have died in Canada's mission in Afghanistan since it began in 2002.