Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 07, 2008 09:54 ET

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Death of Two Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 7, 2008) - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the deaths of two Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan:

"We have all been deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of Warrant Officer Hani Massouh, and Corporal Eric Labbe, who died in a tragic accident while serving Canada in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their loved ones at this time of loss.

These soldiers were participating in Operation TENG AZEM (Steadfast Decision) when their armoured vehicle rolled over into a streambed. This operation was a joint ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces effort aimed at disrupting insurgent activities in the region and establishing a permanent coalition presence in the area. These efforts are part of Canada's overall mission to improve security and allow progress with much-needed reconstruction and development."

Warrant Officer Hani Massouh, and Corporal Eric Labbe were members of the 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Regiment, based in Valcartier, Quebec.

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