- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Canadian soldier killed in gun battle with insurgents
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 1:21 PM ET Comments21Recommend56
A Canadian soldier was killed Tuesday when insurgents fired on a security foot patrol in southern Afghanistan, a military spokesman said.
Capt. Richard Leary of the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Light Infantry regiment, based in Shilo, Man., was struck when Afghan and Canadian soldiers came under small-arms fire in the Panjwaii district, said Col. Jamie Cade, deputy commander of the Canadian mission.
The soldier was evacuated by helicopter to the multinational trauma unit at Kandahar Airfield, but died of his wounds, Cade told reporters.
"Our medical personnel fought very hard to change this outcome, but sadly, they were unsuccessful," he said.
Maj. Jay Janzen said others in the patrol took cover and fought with insurgents "for some time." Coalition air strikes were called in, but he declined to say whether any insurgents were killed.
Leary was the second Canadian soldier to be killed while on foot patrol in Afghanistan in recent weeks. One soldier was killed May 6 when his patrol was ambushed along a roadway outside Kandahar.
"Capt. Leary was what we in uniform are expected to be. Capt. Leary was a soldier and Capt. Leary was a leader … He will be greatly missed by his military family," Col. Cade said.
Nine other soldiers killed in Afghanistan were from the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo. Three others were with the 1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, also based in Shilo.
Eighty-four Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2002. Thirty-nine of those soldiers were killed in roadside bomb explosions.