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4 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan bombings

FOUR Canadian soldiers were killed and eight others were injured yesterday in two separate bombings in Afghanistan, Canada's top general in the country said.

It was one of the deadliest days for Canada since its Afghan mission started in 2002.

"Success in war is costly," Brig. Gen. Jonathan Vance, the commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, said at a news conference in Kandahar. "We are determined to succeed so that Afghan lives improve, but the insurgents are equally determined to challenge and prevent Afghanistan from flourishing as the nation it so wants to be."

He said two soldiers died and five were wounded in an explosion during a morning foot patrol in the Zhari district, west of Kandahar. He said an Afghan interpreter also died.

Vance said two other soldiers died and three were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in the Shah Wali Kot district, northwest of Kandahar.

The deaths bring to 116 the number of Canadian soldiers who have died as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002. Canada has about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly in the volatile south.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during the election campaign last fall that Canada would pull its troops out in 2011. US President Barack Obama declined to ask war-weary Canada to stay longer in Afghanistan when he visited Ottawa last month.

Vance asked Canadians to remember that the soldiers believed both in the mission and in their jobs.

"Please do not think of this as a failure on the part of any person or of the mission itself," Vance said.

All of the soldiers were taking part in a major operation aimed at attacking Taliban command centers and supply lines.


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