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3 More canadian troops killed bringing the toll up to103

The soldiers were responding to reports of people planting a suspicious object.

The Canadian military said Saturday that primary next-of-kin have been notified, but the soldiers will not be identified until extended family members have been contacted.

The news came as 1,000 mourners paid tribute to Cpl. Mark Robert McLaren in a Peterborough, Ont., drill hall. He was one of three soldiers killed in a roadside blast on Dec. 5, bringing Canada's troop death toll to the grim milestone of 100.

With the latest attack, that toll has now risen to 103. A Canadian diplomat has also been killed.

Saturday's deaths occurred near the location of the Dec. 5 attack, on the border between the Arghandab and Zhari districts, and near the village of Senjaray.

"It's the same type of attack, an IED, in almost exactly the same place," Globe and Mail reporter Graeme Smith told CTV Newsnet on the phone from Kandahar.

"It's a very dangerous stretch of highway that runs west of Kandahar city, just over the bridge that leads you out to the farmland where Canadians have been fighting for the last two years."

The area was not considered a Taliban stronghold until recently, Smith said.

"When the Taliban first ran away from here during that time, out of every 100 persons -- 95 per cent were secure and with the other five per cent there (not secure)," Afghan National Army Sgt. Lahor Shah Watanwal, who works with the Canadian OMLT (Operational Liason Mentoring Team), told The Canadian Press.

The OMLT team checks and clears IED's on the highway from the village of Howz-e-Madad to the Helmand border every day. Clearing the 30 kilometres on the highway takes between three and eight hours every day.

"We do get tired of this but it has its moments I guess," Capt. Joe Hentz, of London, Ont., who is in charge of the OMLT, told The Canadian Press.

"We do it the old fashioned way," he said. "We usually find them in culverts. A lot of time they're on the side of the road for the dismounts as well. They see us doing something and change their tactics."

The highway is a major supply route between Kandahar city and the new U.S. base in the Maynard district, making the road a target for the Taliban.

Added: Dec-13-2008 Occurred On: Dec-13-2008
By: R3dhawk56
Middle East
Tags: Afghanistan, canadianforces
Location: Arghandab, Kandahar, Afghanistan (load item map)
Views: 4863 | Comments: 25 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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