A Canadian soldier in Afghanistan died in a non-combat related incident, the military announced on Saturday while ruling out enemy action as a cause of death.

A short statement released by the Canadian headquarters at Kandahar Airfield said the soldier was found dead early Saturday at a forward operating base located in Kandahar city.

The family has been notified and has requested the soldier's identity be temporarily withheld.

The death is currently under investigation.

With enemy action ruled out, military police must determine whether it was foul play, an accident or suicide.

No one within the military would specify the cause of death on Saturday.

Army officials also refused to respond to speculation that the soldier belonged to a highly-secretive group of elite special forces.

The death comes as the Canadian military withdraws from Afghanistan, where they have held a presence since late 2006.

The soldier is the 157th member of the Canadian Forces to die as part of the mission to Afghanistan.

As troops continue to head home, this tragic news is an important reminder of the important role Canadian ground forces have played in many hostile parts of Kandahar, said CTV's Janice Mackey Frayer.

"They're turning over a part of Afghanistan that the Americans say is in much better shape than what the Canadians first arrived to," she told CTV's News Channel on Saturday.

In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered condolences to the soldier's family.

"We are all saddened by this loss," the note said.

Bombardier Karl Manning was the last soldier to die in the country. He was found dead late last month inside a forward military outpost in southern Afghanistan.

An investigation is underway, but the military has ruled out foul play, enemy action and accidental causes in Manning's death.

Manning was based at CFB Valcartier, Que., and was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment battle group.

With files from The Canadian Press