Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan

A Canadian soldier, Sapper Brian Collier, was killed by a bomb while patrolling by foot in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday.
Canadian soldier Sapper Brian Collier, shown in an undated military photo, was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan on Tuesday. He was a member of the 1 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Edmonton. ((DND))

A Canadian soldier, Sapper Brian Collier, was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan Tuesday.

Collier was killed while on a foot patrol in the village of Nakhonay, in the eastern part of Panjwaii District. 

He had dismounted from his vehicle near Nakhonay, about 15 kilometres west of the city of Kandahar, when he was killed by the improvised explosive device.

Collier, 24, was born in Toronto and raised in Bradford, Ont. He was a member of the 1 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Edmonton and was serving in Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. 

Collier, who was on his first deployment to Afghanistan, was previously injured in a separate IED blast.

"He fought hard to overcome his injury in order to get back to doing his job with his comrades," Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance, commander of Task Force Kandahar, said in a statement.

"Always quick to smile, Brian had an easygoing nature and a great sense of humour. Brian was an enthusiast of fine automobiles, and loved to spend time with his Audi," Vance said.

"Any Canadian who could have seen Brian in action would have been proud of him and proud of our country for the work being done with and for Afghans."

In another statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commended Collier's service, and extended condolences to the soldier's family and friends.

"The bravery and remarkable commitment of Canadians like Sapper Collier are bringing safety and stability to the people of Afghanistan," Harper said.

"Every day, their dedication and work protect our interests and values here at home and around the world. Sapper Collier's sacrifice will not be forgotten."

Collier's is the first Canadian death in Afghanistan since June 26, when Master Cpl. Kristal Giesebrecht, 34, and Pte. Andrew Miller, 21, died after the vehicle they were in was struck by an IED.

The latest death brings to 151 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002.