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OTTAWA (AFP) — A Canadian soldier travelling in the same convoy as the commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, the Canadian military said Friday.
Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance announced the death of Corporal Nicholas Bulger during a press conference in Kandahar that was broadcast by Canadian public television station CBC.
Five soldiers were also injured during the attack, but Vance was unhurt.
The injured military personnel were evacuated by helicopter to a military hospital in Kandahar, where they were in "good" condition.
The death of the corporal brings to 121 the number of Canadian soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002.
Canadian media on the ground in Kandahar reported that Vance was in the same convoy as Bulger.
The attack came during a patrol in Zhari district in south eastern Kandahar, according to a Defense Ministry press release.
Corporal Bulger was the third Canadian soldier killed by an IED attack in Afghanistan in less than a month.
A Canadian diplomat and two Canadian humanitarian aid workers have also been killed in Afghanistan.
There are 2,800 Canadian soldiers deployed in the Kandahar region and the country's military contingent is scheduled to leave Afghanistan in 2011.
Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said recently that Ottawa had no intention of extending its troop committment beyond that date.