A Canadian soldier was killed in Afghanistan Sunday, the Canadian Forces says.

Cpl. Yannick Scherrer, 24, was killed by an improvised explosive device near Nakhonay, southwest of Kandahar city, while on a foot patrol.

Scherrer was from Montreal and was on his first tour in Afghanistan.

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Cpl. Scherrer's family, and to the soldiers and friends who served alongside him," Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner, Canada's top soldier in Afghanistan, said in a statement at Kandahar Airfield.

"Canadians can be proud of the progress our soldiers have accomplished for the people of Kandahar province in Afghanistan. More work remains to be done."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also expressed his condolences.

"The relentless commitment of Corporal Scherrer and other brave Canadians in Afghanistan is a source of pride to all Canadians," Harper said in a statement.

"We will forever be grateful for the sacrifice made by Corporal Scherrer."

Scherrer is the first Canadian casualty in the country in 2011. The latest Canadian soldier killed was Cpl. Steve Martin on Dec. 18.

There have been 155 Canadian Forces members killed on the Afghan mission since it began in 2002. Two Canadian aid workers, a diplomat and a journalist have also been killed.

Canada will end its combat role in Afghanistan later this year.

With files from the Canadian Press