An IED blast has claimed the life of another Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.

Sgt. James Macneil, of Glace Bay, N.S., died Monday morning while on a joint foot patrol with members of the Afghan National Army near the village of Nakhonay, about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city.

The 28-year-old was killed after dismounting from his armoured vehicle.

Macneil was from the 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based at CFB Petawawa. He was serving with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group.

"We are all thinking of the family and friends of our Canadian fallen comrade during this sad time," read a statement on the Department of National Defence website. "The commitment and sacrifice of our military and their loved ones are helping to make a difference in the lives of the people of Kandahar Province."

Brig.-Gen Jonathan Vance, commander of Task Force Kandahar, said Macneil was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

Vance called Macneil a "proud Cape Bretoner" with a great sense of humour who was always "the life of the party."

"He was blessed with a permanent smile and eyes that could not conceal the mischief that he was no doubt contemplating," Vance said.

According to Vance, after Macneil's last deployment to Afghanistan and before his promotion to sergeant, the young soldier was recognized as the top master corporal in 2 Mechanized Brigade Group.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hailed Macneil as a "courageous, dedicated soldier" and offered his condolences to Macneil's friends and family.

"May you be consoled by the knowledge that an entire country stands behind you in your grief," Harper said in a statement.

Governor General Michaelle Jean called Macneil "a dedicated participant in this most complex and perilous mission. We shall forever be indebted to him for the tremendous perseverance, courage, heroism and generosity that he exhibited. We shall not forget him."

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Macneil "served valiantly alongside his comrades to help build a better and brighter future for Afghans."

The village of Nakhonay in the Panjwaii district has been particularly dangerous for Canadian soldiers. Dozens of Canadians have been injured or killed in the region as Taliban militants battle to retain a presence in the area.

Earlier this month, 35-year-old Sgt. Martin Goudreault died near the same village while on foot patrol. He, too, was killed by an IED blast.

More than half of the Canadians who died in Afghanistan this year have been killed by IEDs.

CTV's South Asia Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer said the IED is an ever-present danger for Canadian Forces members.

"As the military changes it's tactics, so do the insurgents," Mackey Frayer told CTV News Channel by telephone from Kabul, summing up the danger on the ground.

Vance said for every IED Canadian soldiers find and disarm, Afghan lives are spared and the work of rebuilding communities can continue.

"Through constant patrolling and maintaining a presence in that community, Afghans know to trust both Canadian and Afghan soldiers and respect their efforts to bring them security from all sources of harm," he said.

Macneil is the 148th Canadian soldier killed since the Canadian Forces entered Afghanistan in 2002.

A journalist and diplomat have also died during the Afghan mission.

With files from The Canadian Press