Taliban kill Canadian soldier in Afghanistan

Tue May 6, 2008 6:36pm EDT
 
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents killed a Canadian soldier in a clash in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Tuesday, the Canadian military said.

It said another Canadian soldier was wounded in the incident in the Zhari district to the west of the city of Kandahar, the scene of frequent gunfights between NATO-led forces and Taliban militants.

The injured soldier was listed in stable condition.

Canada has some 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based around the Taliban's former de-facto capital of Kandahar, and has sustained one of the highest casualty rates among international forces in the country.

The death of Cpl. Michael Starker, of 15 Field Ambulance, on Tuesday brings to 83 the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan since Ottawa dispatched troops in 2001.

Starker, who worked as a paramedic in Calgary, Alberta, began his deployment in Afghanistan late last year, Calgary Emergency Medical Services said.

(Reporting by Piotr Andrews, additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Jeffrey Jones in Calgary; editing by Jon Boyle and Rob Wilson)

 
<p>An undated handout photo of Canadian Corporal Michael Starker, of 15 Field Ambulance, who was killed after coming under fire while on patrol in the Panjwayi district of southern Afghanistan on May 6, 2008. REUTERS/ Department of National Defence/Handout</p>