TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian soldier was killed and seven wounded on Sunday when their armored vehicle struck an explosive device while on patrol in southern Afghanistan, the Canadian government said.
Sgt. Prescott Shipway of Shilo, Manitoba, was the 97th Canadian soldier killed since Ottawa sent troops to Afghanistan in late 2002. Canada has around 2,500 soldiers based in the southern city of Kandahar on a mission due to end in 2011.
Three Canadian soldiers were killed on Wednesday when their armored vehicle was attacked by Afghan militants. Canada’s top general has called a recent jump in attacks on his troops worrisome.
Shipway’s death came on the day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper called an election for October 14 hoping to strengthen his grip on power after 2-1/2 years in charge of a minority Conservative Party government.
But Canada’s military presence in Afghanistan is not expected to be an important issue in the campaign. Instead, the government’s handling of the economy and a carbon-tax plan proposed by the opposition Liberals should take center-stage.
The seven soldiers who were wounded on Sunday were reported to be in good condition, the Department of National Defense said in a statement.
Reporting by Frank McGurty, editing by Alan Elsner