The head of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan and other soldiers were in a convoy hit by a suicide bomber near Kandahar on Thursday, officials say.


A Canadian armoured vehicle, an RG-31 Nyala, lies on its side after the convoy it was travelling in was hit by a suicide car bomber in the Afghan province of Kandahar on Thursday. ((Allauddin Khan/Associated Press))

Military sources said neither Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant nor any other soldiers were hurt when the suicide car bomber struck as the convoy was travelling southeast of the city of Kandahar at 5:30 p.m. local time.

The joint Canadian-U.S. convoy consisted of two RG-31 Nyala vehicles — in essence, armoured jeeps built to withstand simultaneous blasts from anti-tank mines — and one LAV-3, an eight-wheeled, armoured troop carrier.

The explosion caused the Nyala to roll into a ditch, said Maj. Chip Madic.

There were at least four troops inside the vehicle, but no one was injured, he said.

Military officials said Grant was not riding in the vehicle that flipped.


Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant, the commander of the Canadian contingent in Afghanistan, was not injured in Thursday's attack. ((Stephanie Levitz/Canadian Press))

Canada has about 2,500 troops, most of them in the southern Kandahar province, deployed as part of the NATO-led multinational force in Afghanistan. So far, Canada has lost 66 soldiers and one diplomat on the mission.

Earlier in the day, a British soldier from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed.

It wasduring an operation aimed at disrupting Taliban forces in the Upper Gereshk Valley of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the British Defence Ministry said on itswebsite.

The latest attack and casualty came as NATO said U.S.-led coalition forces and Afghan troops clashed with militants in two separate battles on Wednesday in southern Afghanistan.

NATO officials said the battle leftmore than 60 suspected Taliban dead.

With files from the Associated Press