Canadian soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan
Published Wednesday, October 28, 2009 10:52PM EDT
A Canadian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, and two others injured, after an improvised explosive device detonated in the turbulent Panjwaii district.
The slain soldier has been identified as 26-year-old Lt. Justin Garrett Boyes, a member of 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton.
"He was mentoring the Afghan local police, when his patrol was struck," Jonathan Montpetit, a reporter with The Canadian Press, told CTY News Channel by phone from Kandahar.
The two injured soldiers were treated at a medical facility at Kandahar Airfield, and are now listed in good condition.
Boyes was just 10 days into his deployment in Afghanistan.
"So early in the deployment, Justin's death is going to be difficult to accept by his brothers in arms, but will not deter any of us from continuing with our mission," Brig. Gen. Jonathan Vance, the commander of Task Force Kandahar, said.
Vance said Boyes was excited for a chance to train Afghan police and contribute to the "effort to provide stability to the population so we could, in concert with the Afghan government, extend basic services and humanitarian assistance to those in need."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement offering his condolences to Boyes' family and friends.
"The dedication, bravery and remarkable commitment of Canadians like Lt. Boyes will bring safety and stability to the people of Afghanistan," Harper said. "Their ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten."
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff also expressed his condolences.
"Today's loss of this brave solider reminds Canadians of the dangerous but important work our men and women of our Armed Forces carry out to ensure peace and security for the people of Afghanistan and the region. Lt. Boyes took on the challenge of defending peace and today we remember his courage and dedication to the mission," Ignatieff said.
Boyes recently joined the Princess Pats as a regular, after six years in the reserves.
Boyes grew up in Saskatchewan and leaves behind his wife, Alanna and three-year-old son, James.
"He was an easy-going Prairie boy who preferred sitting around the backyard with good friends, his family and a cold drink," Vance said.
NATO forces have had a particularly difficult week, with 14 U.S. soldiers killed in two separate helicopter crashes last Monday, and another eight killed by two IED explosions on Tuesday.
Canada has now lost 132 military personnel in the war-torn country, since the mission began in 2002.