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Canadian soldier killed defusing bomb in southern Afghanistan

A Canadian soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan on Sunday when an improvised explosive device he was trying to defuse blew up, the military said.
Cpl. Martin Dubé, 35, was killed in southern Afghanistan on Sunday when an improvised explosive device that the combat engineer was trying to defuse exploded. ((Colin Perkel/Canadian Press) )

A Canadian soldier was killed in southern Afghanistan on Sunday when an improvised explosive device he was trying to defuse blew up, the military said.

Cpl. Martin Dubé, 35, was a combat engineer from the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment based at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, near Quebec City.

An Afghan police officer was also killed and an Afghan interpreter was seriously injured in the explosion, which occurred about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City at 12:30 p.m. local time, the military said.

The wounded interpreter was flown to the Kandahar Airfield hospital.

At a news conference in Kandahar, Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance said Dubé had saved many lives with his work.

"For that he should be remembered and celebrated," Vance said.

Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance held a news conference in Kandahar to discuss the death of Cpl. Martin Dubé, 35, on Sunday. ((Canadian Press))
The bomb Dubé was dismantling could have killed an entire family as it was deliberately aimed at passing traffic, Vance said.

"His actions, his sacrifice, saved the lives of innocents. This is the proudest and most noble accomplishment of any soldier and today that accomplishment was Martin's."

Always willing to help

Dubé was an "energetic" soldier who believed in the mission and "would never let himself get down when things got rough," Vance said.

"He was a skilled perfectionist who took the time to better himself, not only as a human being but also as a soldier," Vance said. " He was a professional, always willing to help anyone in need."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a release, "We are eternally grateful for his sacrifice for this country, while helping to ensure a brighter future for the Afghan people. We are all saddened by this loss."

Dubé is survived by his mother, Marie-Paule, his father, Roger, his brother, Vincent, and his girlfriend, Julie, the military said.

It's the second Canadian death in Afghanistan in a week — Pte. Alexandre Péloquin was killed last Monday when he stepped on an explosive device.

The death of Dubé brings to 120 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died during the Afghan mission since it began in 2002. One diplomat and two aid workers have also died.

With files from The Canadian Press

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