Saturday, July 22, 2006

Afghanistan: 2 More Canadian Soldiers Killed

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Eight people were killed, including two Canadian soldiers, and dozens wounded in a double suicide attack in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Saturday, authorities said.

The attacks came just over a week before a NATO-led mission takes over security in the south at a time of the bloodiest phase of an insurgency since coalition forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001.

The Department of National Defense named the two dead soldiers as Cpl. Francisco Gomez of the Edmonton, Alberta-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and Cpl. Jason Patrick Warren of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, based in Montreal.

As the Globe and Mail reported on July 20, Canadian public support for the Afghanistan war has slipped 'sharply'.

Opposition to the Canadian presence in Afghanistan is intensifying, as almost half of voters surveyed say they want Prime Minister Stephen Harper to immediately withdraw troops from a conflict that is becoming a potential voting issue.

But a forced spring vote by the Conservative government committed Canada to at least two more years under NATO to the mission. Regardless of public sentiment, it's likely that as long as Harper is in control his 'stay the course' policy will prevail - although he may not be re-elected the next time around because of it.

Condolences to those who lost these soldiers as well as those impacted by the woundings of the others.

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