Roadside bomb kills Canadian soldier in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

A roadside bomb today killed a Canadian Nato soldier, the military alliance's fourth fatality since taking command in southern Afghanistan this week.

The pre-dawn roadside blast in Kandahar province wounded another soldier, according to a Nato statement. Both were evacuated by helicopter for treatment at Kandahar airfield, where one of them was pronounced dead. The wounded soldier was being treated for his injuries, it said.

On Monday, three British soldiers died in a militant ambush in neighbouring Helmand province, just a day after Nato took charge of security in the south from a US-led coalition that was deployed nearly five years ago to oust the Taliban regime for hosting Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban militia has stepped up attacks this year, sparking fighting with foreign and Afghan forces that has left more than 900 people, mostly militants, dead since May.

Late yesterday, police with Nato air support killed 10 Taliban fighters, and clashed with more insurgents today as the militants tried to recover bodies from the battlefield in Helmand province, a local police chief Ghulam Rasool said.

The clashes happened in mountains near the village of Thakhatul in Garmser district. Rasool was transferred to Garmser and given an unusually large contingent of 200 police to crush the Taliban after insurgents briefly took over the district last month.

On Tuesday, fighting in Garmser left 18 Taliban and one policeman dead, according to Rasool.