In Depth


Timeline of Canada's involvement from 2001-2006

Last Updated November 9, 2006

Nov. 9, 2006

Canadian troops and Afghan police kill 22 suspected Taliban militants in Zhari district in Kandahar province. The Canadians pinpointed the militants' position and called in a NATO air strike.

Nov. 1, 2006

Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser ends an eight-month rotation command of NATO soldiers in southern Afghanistan. He hands the command over to Dutch Maj.-Gen. Ton Van Loon.

Oct. 03, 2006

Two Canadians soldiers are killed and five others injured 20 kilometres west of Kandahar. They were providing security for a road construction project when they came under attack.

Oct. 1, 2006

The head of the International Red Cross says he is satisfied that Canadian troops in Afghanistan are following rules when it comes to taking prisoners. He says Canada is scrupulous about notifying the Red Cross when it takes prisoners and hands them over to the Afghan government.

Sept. 29, 2006

One Canadian soldier is killed while on patrol. It is believed he triggered an improvised explosive device or landmine on a road. One other soldier is injured in the blast.

Sept. 22, 2006

Afghan president Hamid Karzai speaks to MPs and Senators in Ottawa during a state visit to Canada. He says Canada's presence in Afghanistan "is a must."

Sept. 19, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says that Canada's involvement in Afghanistan is "certainly raising Canada's leadership role, once again, in the United Nations and in the world community where we used to have an important leadership role."

Sept. 18, 2006

Four Canadian soldiers are killed in a suicide attack while on patrol in southern Afghanistan.

Sept. 15, 2006

Ottawa pledges to send between 200 and 500 additional troops and a squadron of Leopard tanks to Afghanistan. The Department of National Defence calls the extra soldiers and equipment "a necessary response to the Taliban."

Sept. 11, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada's military participation in Afghanistan is necessary to make the world safer and help eliminate the terror behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sept. 4, 2006

Two U.S. aircraft mistakenly fire on a Canadian platoon taking part in NATO's massive anti-Taliban operation in southern Afghanistan, killing one soldier.

Sept. 3, 2006

Four Canadian soldiers die during a ground assault on an insurgent position as part of a major NATO offensive in southern Afghanistan.

Aug. 28, 2006

At least 17 people die and 47 are wounded after a suicide bombing in a busy market located near a police station in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, in southern Afghanistan.

Aug. 27, 2006

A Canadian soldier is one of seven people hurt in a mortar attack on a military operating base where the main coalition troops are stationed, about 30 kilometres south of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan.

Aug. 26, 2006

Canadian soldiers kill an Afghan National Police officer in a shooting that a military spokesman describes as a "regrettable incident."

Aug. 22, 2006

A Canadian soldier and a young girl are killed and three others are wounded when a suicide bomber plows his car into a Canadian military patrol in southern Afghanistan. The deceased soldier, Cpl. David Braun of CFB Shilo in Manitoba, is the 27th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since the war began in 2002. Two hours after the attack, a Canadian soldier shoots and kills a 10-year-old boy and injures a teenager when their motorcycle breaks through the security perimeter around the suicide-bombing site.

Aug. 21, 2006

Two Canadian soldiers are wounded in an ambush about 20 kilometres west of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan.

Aug. 15, 2006

Six Canadian soldiers are injured in a mortar attack on a Canadian outpost about 30 kilometres west of Kandahar in Panjwaii, southern Afghanistan.

Aug. 11, 2006

A Canadian medic, Cpl. Andrew Eykelenboom, is killed in a suicide bombing. It is believed he is the first Canadian military medic killed in action since the Korean War. The attack happened as Eykelenboom travelled in an armoured G-Wagon light utility vehicle as part of a resupply convoy heading north from the district of Spin Boldak to Kandahar airfield. Overall, 26 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died in Afghanistan since 2002.

Aug. 9, 2006

A Canadian soldier, Master Cpl. Jeffrey Walsh, of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry from CFB Shilo in Manitoba, is killed in what appears to be an accidental discharge of a Canadian rifle. Walsh is the 25th Canadian soldier killed in the mission in Afghanistan since 2002.

Aug. 8, 2006

The new chief of NATO forces in Afghanistan, Lt.-Gen. David Richards, urges Canada not to waver in the battle. The NATO commander says the Canadians who have died in Afghanistan have "died for as good a cause as I can think of."

Aug. 5, 2006

Canadian soldier, Master Cpl. Raymond Arndt, is killed and three others injured in a traffic accident near Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan. The wounded soldiers are Cpl. Jared Gagnon, Cpl. Ashley Van Leeuwen and Pte. Adam Keen. Arndt is the 24th Canadian soldier killed in the mission in Afghanistan since 2002.

Aug. 4, 2006

Two roadside bombs hit a Canadian military convoy west of Kandahar. One of the bombs detonates between two vehicles, but there is no major damage and the convoy continues to drive through the danger zone.

Aug. 3, 2006

Four Canadian soldiers are killed in fierce fighting with Taliban insurgents that also leave 10 Canadian troops wounded. Cpl. Christopher Jonathan Reid is killed when his armoured vehicle is struck by a roadside bomb. In a separate incident, Taliban militants with rocket-propelled grenades kill Sgt. Vaughn Ingram, Cpl. Bryce Keller and Pte. Kevin Dallaire. The deaths bring the fatality numbers of Canadian military personnel up to 23 since the conflict began in 2002.

Aug. 2, 2006

Two planeloads of Canadian soldiers, mostly from Manitoba and Ontario, arrive in Kandahar, the first wave of replacements for soldiers who've served in the region since February. About 2,000 replacement soldiers are expected to arrive over the next month.

July 24, 2006

Two international coalition soldiers in Daman district, about seven kilometres east of Kandahar City, are seriously hurt when a van packed with explosives is detonated as their patrol is driving past. Hundreds of Taliban fighters attack a western Afghan government building with rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns.

July 23, 2006

Vancouver carpenter is killed in northern Afghanistan, where he was completing construction of a school he had been working on for the past four years. Mike Frastacky, 56, was shot three times in the head in a home he was staying at in the town of Nahrin.

July 22, 2006

Two Canadian soldiers die when a suicide bomber explodes near their eight-wheeled Bison troop carrier not far from the coalition base in Kandahar. Eight others, including one Canadian, were injured in the attack.

Cpl. Francisco Gomez of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton, 44, and Cpl. Jason Warren, 29, of Montreal's The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada are the 18th and 19th Canadian soldiers to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

A second suicide bomber later attacks the convoy about 100 metres from the first attack. Six Afghan civilians are killed in the heavily populated area and 30 are injured.

July 15, 2006

Coalition forces start an offensive against hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters in the Sangin region of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. The U.S. forces push down from the north, the Canadians sweep up from the south and helicopters airlift British soldiers into the middle of the battlefield.

July 15, 2006

A council of Islamic clerics introduces a proposal to the Afghan government for the re-establishment of a religious police force to make sure Shariah law is obeyed.

July 13, 2006

Coalition and Afghan forces kill at least 19 Taliban militants during an insurgent attack on a police headquarters in the Helmand provincial town of Nawzad, in southern Afghanistan.

July 12, 2006

Afghanistan's defence minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak says the country's army cannot secure the country without at least 150,000 troops, more than five times its current size. Wardak says the amount of money some coalition nations spend on one of their own soldiers in the field could fund 50 to 100 new Afghan troops. "We think if we stand on our own feet [then] the coalition and the international community saves a lot of money in the long run, will not be compelled to deploy large formations of their forces," he said.

July 9, 2006

Cpl. Anthony Boneca, a 21-year-old reservist from the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment based in Thunder Bay, Ont., dies in a region west of Kandahar. He was serving with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Boneca is the 17th Canadian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan since the first battle group was sent to the country in February 2002.

July 8, 2006

Two Canadian soldiers are wounded in a gunfight with insurgents west of Kandahar. A total of five coalition soldiers are injured in the battle. Five insurgents are killed and three are captured.

June 30, 2006

Two Canadians and eight other coalition soldiers are wounded when two rockets hit the main Canadian base in Kandahar. The base is home to more than 2,000 soldiers.

June 21, 2006

Two Canadian troops are wounded in a suicide attack on a military convoy, hours after four others are hurt when their vehicle is hit by a roadside bomb.

May 25, 2006

Five soldiers travelling with an Afghan interpreter on a routine patrol near Gumbad, northeast of Kandahar, are wounded when their armoured LAV III encounters a roadside bomb.

May 17, 2006

After a six-hour debate, members of Parliament vote to approve a two-year extension of Canada's military mission to Afghanistan.

May 17, 2006

A female Canadian soldier dies in Afghanistan. Capt. Nichola Goddard, 26, was near the front lines serving as a forward artillery observer during a battle with Taliban forces. She was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck her light armoured vehicle. Goddard is the first Canadian female soldier killed in active combat.

May 11, 2006

Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan capture 10 suspected Taliban fighters, while escorting a convoy to Gumbad, north of Kandahar. Troops had been scouring the hills to flush out Taliban fighters. Based on a tip that a group was hiding in a compound, soldiers moved in, but didn't fire a single shot. The suspects were handed over to Afghan national police.

May 9, 2006

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay pays a surprise visit to Canadian troops in Afghanistan after recent polls suggested support among the Canadian public dropped below 50 per cent. MacKay meets with Canadian soldiers and Afghan leaders to reaffirm Canada's commitment to the mission.

April 19, 2006

Two Canadian soldiers are airlifted to the Kandahar airfield after a bomb explodes near their convoy. An army spokesman says their injuries are "non-life-threatening." The convoy was on its way to Forward Operating Base Robinson to replace troops there when an improvised explosive device blew up near a Bison reconnaissance vehicle. The names of the wounded soldiers were not released.

April 16, 2006

The Canadian International Development Agency says it is suspending aid projects in Afghanistan because it has become too dangerous.

April 14, 2006

A Canadian light armoured vehicle (LAV) rushing to rescue Afghan soldiers is hit by two rocket propelled grenades. No one is injured. The LAV was one of several that was sent out after Taliban forces ambushed a group of Afghan soldiers and police. About 100 Canadian soldiers were involved in the battle, and several light armoured vehicles, attack helicopters and heavy artillery. In a separate incident, at least three Canadian soldiers are injured when their vehicle goes off the road in a convoy north of Kandahar. The injuries are not considered life-threatening. No names are released.

April 2, 2006

Two soldiers are injured by the gun turret of their light armoured vehicle. According to the military, the vehicle was in a convoy passing through Kandahar when another vehicle clipped the turret. The turret swung around, striking the two soldiers.

March 30, 2006

A Canadian soldier and six civilians are wounded by a suicide car bomber in Kandahar. The soldier is airlifted to the main coalition airbase outside the city with non-life-threatening injuries.

March 29, 2006

Canadian soldier Pte. Robert Costall is killed in a firefight with Taliban insurgents. Eight Afghan soldiers and one U.S. soldier are also killed. Three Canadians are wounded. Canadian Forces Brig.-Gen. David Fraser says the firefight lasted for several hours and a "significant number" of Taliban members were killed. Fraser says Costall died "defending his fellow soldiers."

Abdul Rahman arrives in Italy after being granted asylum. Rahman was accused in Afghanistan of converting to Christianity, but the case was dismissed for lack of evidence and suspicion that he may be mentally ill. Many clerics in Afghanistan had called for him to be put to death.

March 21, 2006

Canada joins the list of countries closely watching a court case in Afghanistan, where under Islamic law a man could be sentenced to death for converting to Christianity. Abdul Rahman, 41, is jailed in Afghanistan and faces the death penalty unless he agrees to convert back to Islam, said the judge at the Shariah court. Italy and Germany, two other Western countries with troops stationed in Afghanistan, also expressed concern over the case amid calls that their troops be pulled out.

March 14, 2006

Canadian soldiers fatally shoot an Afghan taxi driver, about four kilometres from the Canadian base in Kandahar. Chief of staff for Task Force Afghanistan, Lt.-Col. Derek Basinger, says the soldiers fire warning shots at Nasrat Ghali after he drove through a police checkpoint and came less than a metre from a Canadian military vehicle. Afghan police open an investigation into the shooting.

March 13, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper reaffirms his government's commitment to troops serving in Afghanistan. "There will be some who want to cut and run, but cutting and running is not my way and it's not the Canadian way," he tells about 1,000 troops at the Kandahar airfield.

March 12, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit. Canada's chief of defence staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, greets Harper and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor when the Hercules transport plane carrying the government contingent lands in Kandahar. Harper tours a military operations centre and spends the night at Canada's main base.

March 10, 2006

A Canadian supply convoy travelling in southern Afghanistan triggers a roadside bomb, blowing a wheel off an armoured vehicle. Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada's chief of defence staff, is nearby in a meeting with a village elder. Hillier is taken to the Canadian base in Gumbad by armoured convoy and a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter flies him back to the main base in Kandahar.

March 7, 2006

Prime Minister Stephen Harper rejects the idea of a debate on Canada's presence in Afghanistan and says any attempt to pull them back would be a betrayal. "Canadians don't cut and run at the first sign of trouble," he says. "That's the nature of this country, and when we send troops into the field, I expect Canadians to support those troops."

March 4, 2006

During a meeting between Canadian soldiers and village elders in Gumbad, a man attacks one of the soldiers from behind with a half-metre-long axe. Capt. Trevor Greene, a journalist and former navy officer from Vancouver, suffers a serious head wound. Other Canadian soldiers shot and kill his attacker.

March 3, 2006

Five Canadian soldiers are injured when a suicide bomber attacks the armoured vehicle they are riding in near Kandahar.

March 2, 2006

A LAV III armoured vehicle crashes into a taxi and flips during a patrol on a main highway seven kilometres west of Kandahar. The accident kills Cpl. Paul Davis, of Bridgewater, N.S., and Master Cpl. Timothy Wilson, of Grande Prairie, Alta.

Feb. 28, 2006

Canadian Brig.-Gen. David Fraser takes over control of the multinational force in southern Afghanistan from U.S. Gen. Karl Eikenberry. Hours later, militants detonate a roadside bomb in front of a convoy of Canadian soldiers.

Feb. 25, 2006

Militants fire two rocket-propelled grenades at a Canadian military patrol near Kandahar. One of the grenades hits Canadian "G Wagon," injuring Canadian 2nd Lieut. Kelly Catton. He is treated in Afghanistan.

Feb. 24, 2006

A battle group from Canada's Princess Patricia's Light Infantry takes over frontline duties in Kandahar province from a U.S. task force.

Feb. 16, 2006

Canadian military engineers defuse a large roadside bomb outside Kandahar, consisting of two large Russian shells tied together with red wire and attached to a remote control detonator.

Two Canadian soldiers are injured in a road accident, the second in as many days. One is flown to Germany for treatment.

Feb. 15, 2006

Three soldiers, two of them Canadian, are injured when their Mercedes-Benz Gelaendewagen rolls over in Kandahar. None of the injuries is life-threatening, but one of the Canadians is flown to Germany as a precaution.

Jan. 16, 2006

Three soldiers wounded in a suicide bomb attack on their convoy are airlifted to Germany for treatment. Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey and Pte. William Salikin were listed in critical condition while Master Cpl. Paul Franklin was said to be in serious condition.

Jan. 15, 2006

A Canadian diplomat is killed and three Canadian soldiers are injured after a suicide bomber strikes a military convoy near Kandahar. The diplomat - 59-year-old Glyn Berry - was the political director of the provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan. Foreign Affairs said he was the first Canadian diplomat to be slain abroad.

Nov. 24, 2005

One soldier was killed and three injured when an armoured vehicle rolled over near Kandahar. The Department of National Defence said the accident involved a LAV-3 armoured vehicle.

Aug. 5, 2005

Canadian troops prepare to shut down Camp Julien near Kabul and move to a new mission near Kandahar, where the situation is more dangerous.

July 15, 2005

Canada's top soldier warns that Canadians should prepare for military casualties. But he adds that sending more troops to rid Afghanistan of elements of the Taliban and al-Qaeda can only help Canada in the long run. "These are detestable murderers and scumbags. I'll tell you that right up front," said Hillier.

May 17, 2005

Canada commits to sending as many as 1,250 troops to the Kandahar region of Afghanistan.

Feb. 10, 2005

A new six-month tour begins for 700 Canadian troops in Kabul.

Nov. 28, 2004

Military ombudsman André Marin says the 700 Canadian soldiers in Kabul are exhausted from working flat-out for 4� months.

Nov. 6, 2004

Thirty-five soldiers from the First Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Aug. 24, 2004

A National Defence Department board of inquiry report concludes that two incidents in Afghanistan in which three Canadian soldiers died could not have been prevented. Both incidents involved the Iltis light utility jeep, criticized for not offering enough protection to its occupants.

Aug. 8, 2004

Canadian Lt.-Gen. Rick Hillier hands over command of the 34-country International Security Assistance Force to French Lt.-Gen. Jean-Louis Py.

Aug. 5, 2004

A Norwegian battle group with 550 soldiers replaces 700 members of the Royal 22e Regiment, the Vandoos, patrolling the centre of Kabul. The Canadian Forces says that during their deployment the Vandoos completed 3,500 patrols with no casualties and finished 154 "do-good" projects that spent $400,000 on schools, orphanages, roads, culverts, water and other projects.

July 26, 2004

About 600 troops from Western Canada, including 60 members of the 3rd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, head to Afghanistan to replace a battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment. Some of the soldiers were members of the original Canadian deployment to Afghanistan, Operation Apollo.

April 15, 2004

Prime Minister Paul Martin says Canada will send a 600-member battle group and a 200-member air force support group to Afghanistan to replace the current deployment of 1,700 soldiers when their tours end in August. Canada's military presence will be maintained until the summer of 2005.

April 13, 2004

Afghan authorities lead a team that includes Canadian soldiers in a raid of a compound outside Kabul. Six people are arrested, including a wanted member of a militant group.

Feb. 9, 2004

Canadian Lt.-Gen. Rick Hillier takes command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Feb. 4, 2004

Prime Minister Paul Martin says Canada will maintain up to 500 soldiers in Afghanistan after the Canadian Forces' mission in Kabul is complete in August.

Jan. 27, 2004

Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Nfld., is killed and three others wounded by a suicide bomber while on patrol near the Canadian base, Camp Julien, in Kabul.

Jan. 24, 2004

About 100 Canadian soldiers land in Trenton, Ont., after completing their six-month tour in Afghanistan.

Jan. 20, 2004

Nearly 2,000 Canadian troops from CFB Valcartier, Que., head to Afghanistan to replace the first wave of troops at the end of their six-month tour.

Oct. 2, 2003

Two Canadian soldiers are killed and three injured in a roadside blast southwest of Kabul, which destroyed their light Iltis jeep. Dead are Sgt. Robert Alan Short, 42, of Fredericton and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger, 29, of Ottawa.

July 17, 2003

Canadian Brig.-Gen. Peter J. Devlin, takes over command of the Kabul Multinational Brigade, composed of soldiers from 19 countries. In the following days he will be joined by the first elements of an 1,800-strong Canadian contingent, charged with maintaining order in the Afghan capital.

Feb. 12, 2003

Defence Minister John McCallum announces Canada will send a contingent of more than 1,000 soldiers to join the international security force in Kabul as early as the summer.

May 21, 2002

Canada announces that its 750 soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan will be pulled out by August. Air, sea and special forces are to remain.

April 18, 2002

Four Canadian soldiers die when an American pilot drops a bomb on them as they take part in a nighttime training exercise near Kandahar. Eight more Canadians are wounded.

Feb. 2, 2002

The first major wave of Canadian soldiers lands in Afghanistan. Commander Lt.-Col. Pat Stogran says the 140 soldiers - members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry - are "really excited to be here, finally."

Jan. 25, 2002

For the first time since 1979, Canada re-establishes diplomatic ties with Afghanistan. Ottawa severed ties after the Soviets invaded the country to prop up the Communist regime in Kabul.

Oct. 17, 2001

The HMCS Charlottetown, HMCS Iroquois and supply ship Preserver leave Halifax for the Arabian Sea where they are to join U.S. and British forces already there. The deployment is Canada's contribution to Operation Apollo.

Oct. 10, 2001

The U.S. and Britain launch the first round of air strikes on Kabul in response to the Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. targets. The focus of the bombardment is Afghanistan's Taliban leadership as well as training camps and installations belonging to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.

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External Links

Rebuilding Afghanistan - Government of Canada
Operation Athena
NATO in Afghanistan
CIA World Factbook, Afghanistan

(Note: CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites - links will open in new window)

Quick Facts

Capital: Kabul

Area: 647,500 km sq. (same size as Manitoba)

Population: 28,513,000 (2004)

Head of State: Hamid Karzai

Unemployment: 78%

GDP (2003): $20 billion US (est.)

Exports to Canada (2003): $618,889

Imports from Canada (2003): $9 million

Median Age: 17.5

Life expectancy at birth: 42.46

Ethnic groups: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%

(Source: CIA World Fact Book, Government of Canada)

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