Roadside bomb kills Canadian soldier in Afghanistan

A Canadian soldier was killed by a roadside bomb Saturday near Kandahar city, the military reported.

A Canadian soldier was killed by a roadside bomb Saturday near Kandahar city, the military reported.

Sapper Sean David Greenfield, 25, was a combat engineer based in Petawawa, Ont.

He is the second Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2009, bringing the Canadian military's death toll to 108 since the Afghan mission began seven years ago.

One Canadian diplomat and two Canadian aid workers have also been killed.

A bomb exploded under Greenfield's armoured vehicle in the Zhari district, about 40 kilometres west of Kandahar city.

None of the other soldiers in the vehicle was hurt, said Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson, commander of coalition forces in Kandahar province.

Greenfield was part of a mission looking for Taliban supplies, and the soldiers did find weapons and bomb-making material, Thompson said.

"Today we grieve, but tomorrow we'll persevere," he told reporters.  

Greenfield was very fit and a singer and guitar player, Thompson said.

"He will be sorely missed."

Violent winter

The Taliban usually attack during the warmer months and have tended to lie low in the winter, but this year they have stepped up their attacks.

Eleven Canadian soldiers have been killed since early December, all in bomb attacks.

Coalition forces have gone after the Taliban hideouts and have been finding weapons. But the caches have been smaller than previous finds, indicating the effort to choke off the militants' supply line is working, Thompson said.

Greenfield was with the 24 Field Engineer Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, serving with the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff both offered their condolences to Greenfield's family, friends and comrades.

"The Canadian mission in Afghanistan is a difficult one, but the Canadian Forces are making a difference in the lives of the Afghan people by maintaining security and stability that will allow the country to rebuild and look to the future," Harper said in a statement his office issued Saturday evening.

"Canadians owe a tremendous debt to the men and women of our Canadian Forces for their courage and sacrifice for our country," Ignatieff said in a statement.