Blast in Afghanistan kills Canadian soldier, injures 4

One Canadian soldier was killed and four were wounded when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Sunday, military officials said.

One Canadian soldier was killed and four others were wounded when their armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, military officials said.

The soldier who died has been identified as Gunner Jonathan Dion, 27,of Val-d'Or, Que.,withthe 5th Régiment d’artillerie légère du Canada, based in Valcartier, Que.
Jonathan Dion was a 27-year-old gunner from Val-d'Or, Que. ((DND))

The explosionoccurred shortly after 9 a.m. local time as troops wereon a routine patrolin Zhari district, about 20 kilometres west of Kandahar City.

All five soldierswere flown by helicopter to the Canadian-run hospital at Kandahar Air Field where Dionsuccumbed to his wounds, Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche told reporters.

The four soldiers who survived are saidto havenon-life-threatening injuries. One of them was released fromhospital later on Sunday.
The TLAV is a heavily upgraded version of an M113 armoured personnel carrier that the Canadian Forces first acquired in the 1960s. ((James Cudmore/CBC))

Prime Minister Stephen Harperissued a statement after the bombing.

"I amdeeply saddened by the loss of Gunner Jonathan Dion," he said."I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends during this very difficult time. I also wish a speedy recovery to the four other soldiers injured in this incident."

Wing Commander Antony McCord, Regional Command South spokesman, said in astatement, "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the soldier who was killed and those who were injured."

Thesoldiers were travelling in a Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle (TLAV), a modifiedversion of theold M113 trackedvehicle,Laroche said.

Hesaid these vehicles are"almost as good" as the newer LAVs (Light ArmouredVehicles). Theincident could have happened to any vehicle and that choice of using the TLAVhad nothing to do with the death and injuries on Sunday, Laroche added.

Thelatest casualtiesbring thenumber of Canadians killed in Afghanistanto 74 soldiers and one diplomat since the mission began in 2002.