Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

November 17, 2007 13:51 ET

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

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 17, 2007) - The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, issued the following statement today on the death of two Canadian soldiers and one Afghan interpreter and the wounding of three soldiers:

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp and Private Michel Jr. Levesque, who died yesterday in Afghanistan. I would like to extend my condolences to their families and friends during this very difficult time. I also wish a quick recovery for the other Canadian soldiers injured in this incident.

My sympathies also go out to the family and friends of an Afghan interpreter who lost his life in this incident. This courageous Afghan national gave his life in support of the mission to help Afghanistan achieve peace, stability and the hope for a better future.

These soldiers were participating in a joint operation to further stabilize the Panjwayi district, west of Kandahar City. These soldiers were in Afghanistan to help bring back hope to a population that has seen much hardship and turmoil.

Canada is in Afghanistan at the request of the democratically elected government, and as part of a UN-sanctioned mission to help build a stable, democratic, and self-sufficient society. Rebuilding schools, hospitals, and roads as well as training Afghan security forces cannot occur in an unstable environment. Our Canadian Forces members are playing a key role in this NATO-led mission, helping improve the security situation in order to create the conditions necessary for Afghans to live normal lives.

We will remain forever grateful for the sacrifice of these brave soldiers, and we are all saddened by the loss of these exceptional Canadians."

Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp was member of 5e Ambulance de campagne and Private Michel Jr Levesque was members of 3e Bataillon of Royal 22e Regiment, based out of Valcartier Quebec.

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