Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

August 23, 2007 00:27 ET

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

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 22, 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 deaths of two Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, and the wounding of one soldier and two members of the media:

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of two Canadian soldiers who died today in Afghanistan. I would like to extend my condolences to the families and loved ones of Master Corporal Christian Duchesne and of the remaining soldier, whose name is being temporarily withheld at the request of the family. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this time of great sorrow. I also wish a speedy recovery to the soldier injured in this incident.

These soldiers were participating in a joint operation to further stabilize an area west of Kandahar City with the aim to strengthen security conditions so that meetings can be held with local elders and authorities to facilitate reconstruction projects. These soldiers were helping to bring back hope to a population that has seen much hardship and turmoil. Their actions have brought hope to this oppressed people.

My sympathies also go to the two members of the media injured in today's attack, and to their families. Our condolences also go to the family of the Afghan interpreter who lost his life in the incident.

Let us never forget these brave soldiers, whose self-sacrifice served to make life better for others."

Master Corporal Christian Duchesne was a member of 5e Ambulance de campagn, Royal 22e Regiment, based out of Valcartier, Quebec.

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