Col. Mike Cessford says the latest soldier death was 'non-combat' related. ((CBC))

A Canadian soldier died in Afghanistan on Wednesday when he fell while climbing a communications tower.

Col. Mike Cessford said the soldier, who was a member of Canada's special forces, was not working as part of an ongoing operation at the time of the fall in Kandahar.

The soldier's death is being described as "non-combat" related.

"I believe that this was a routine activity that was underway," Cessford said in Kandahar, where Canadian troops are based. "It was not operationally related at this time. It was simply, unfortunately an accident.

"I would stress that we take every precaution to minimize the dangers to our soldiers. However, risk is inherent in the nature of the work that we do."

The family has requested the soldier's name not be released until other relatives have been notified.

Canada's special forces usually operate under extreme secrecy.

Cessford said this is the first time the unit has suffered a fatality in Afghanistan.

Fifty-four Canadian soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan.

Most have died in combat or in bomb attacks by insurgents.

With files from the Canadian Press