World

Canadian soldiers kill Afghan police officer, civilian

Canadian soldiers mistakenly killed an Afghan civilian and a police officer Sunday after an attack on a Canadian convoy.

Canadian soldiers mistakenly killed an Afghan civilian and a member of the Afghan national police Sunday following an attack on a Canadian convoy.

No Canadianswere injuredin the attacks, which took place on a road through Kandahar City and involved soldiers from CFB Gagetown, located outside of Fredericton.

Theconvoyof RG-31 Nyala patrol vehicles and Coyote armoured cars was fired on twice, said military spokesman Maj. Dale MacEachern.

"The first attack occurred at 11:16 p.m. local time when the convoy was engaged by small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire," said MacEachern. "Having sustained hits by anti-tank rockets, the convoy pushed through this attack without casualties."

About 30 minutes after that first attack, roughly three kilometres down the road, the convoy was forced to stop because a damaged vehicle broke down.

MacEachern says that's when insurgents attacked again with small-arms fire.

"Members of the convoy visually identified and engaged armed insurgents," he said.

"Unfortunately, a local Afghan national was shot and killed when he approached Canadian Forces soldiers who were engaged in the firefight despite warnings —repeated warnings— to move away."

Canadian soldiers also shot and killed an Afghan police officer.

MacEachern acknowledges these two deaths could make it harder for Canadian troops to win the trust of the police and the local population.

"Are they happy with this situation? Probably no," said MacEachern. "We're not happy with it. We regret it. It's not something we want to see happen."

Last week, Canadian troops shot and killed a civilian and wounded an Afghan police officer in two separate incidents. The military says investigations are ongoing into all of these cases.

More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region. Since the mission started in 2002, 44 soldiers and one civilian have been killed.