Canadian Soldier Killed

Canadian soldier killed


KABUL (CP) - A suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his chest jumped on a lightly armoured Iltis vehicle Tuesday and set off an explosion that killed a Canadian soldier and injured three of his comrades just as their tour of duty was nearing an end.

The two-vehicle patrol was about a kilometre away from Camp Julien, the main Canadian base in Kabul, when the attack happened. The three injured Canadian soldiers were all in stable condition. The blast also killed one Afghan civilian and injured at least eight others, including two who were in critical condition.

Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, the outgoing head of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, met with troops late Tuesday afternoon and struggled for words to explain the attack. He reminded the soldiers of their mission.

"It's hard to make sense out of a senseless act, especially suicide bombings," Leslie told the soldiers as they crouched in a semi-circle near a memorial to six other Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

"This act, reprehensible as it is, indicates essentially why you're here. You're here to protect these people from such animals as were involved in taking life of one of our own and injuring others."

Leslie identified the dead and injured troops.

Killed in the explosion was Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Nfld. "Death was instantaneous," Leslie said.

The three wounded are Lieut. Jason Matthew Feyko, 30, of Bethany, Ont. - near Peterborough, Ont.; Cpl. Jeremy Gerald MacDonald, 30, of Burnt Islands, Nfld., and Cpl. Richard Michael Newman, 23, of Hartland, N.B.

Feyko was initially flown to German medical facilities near Kabul where he had surgery to remove shrapnel from his arms, legs and face. He was sent on to a hospital in Germany later Tuesday. MacDonald and Newman stayed in the Kabul area, where they were treated for shrapnel injuries.

"They're under the best of care right now and it looks like they're going to be OK," said Maj. Jay Janzen, public affairs officer for the regiment.

A memorial service for Murphy is tentatively planned for Wednesday at Camp Julien. His body will leave Afghanistan aboard a Canadian military aircraft in the afternoon.

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic incident that claimed the life of Cpl. Jamie Murphy and injured three others," Defence Minister David Pratt said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of the victims of this terrible event."

Gen. Ray Henault, the chief of defence staff, said: "On behalf of all Canadian Forces members, I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the brave soldiers involved in this tragedy. We share in their loss and hope for the complete recovery of those who were injured."

The deadly attack came just as members of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ont., are starting to return to Canada after their six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Hundreds of fresh troops from the Royal 22nd Regiment - the Vandoos - are arriving every week from Valcartier, Que., and the rotation is due to be completed by mid-February.

Maj. John Vass led the patrol of six soldiers and an Afghan interpreter from Camp Julien for a regular meeting with the mayor and police chief of a Kabul district on Tuesday. They set out along the pothole-covered Green Road, which stretches over a plateau at the foot of a mountain to the bombed-out King's Palace, a landmark overlooking Kabul and Camp Julien.

The soldiers were only a few minutes into their patrol when a man with a long beard approached from a trench dug alongside the road, said officials and Afghan witnesses.

Vass, one of the two Canadians who escaped the attack unscathed, said his lead vehicle had just passed a bump in the road when he heard an explosion behind him.

"I heard this extremely loud explosion," Vass said. "We pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and noticed the other call sign (vehicle) was all black and the radiator appeared to have exploded."

Vass said the attack took place near a handful of shops with hundreds of Afghans going about their business.

"I didn't see him or notice him," he said, referring to the suicide bomber. "It was a normal day on the streets of Kabul."

Vass said the attack was clearly a suicide bombing, judging by the body parts strewn over a large area.

"It was quite clear," he said. "Parts were thrown up to 100 metres away from the vehicle. It was a very disturbing sight, to say the least."

A minute after the attack, three Canadian armoured vehicles travelling in the other direction happened upon the bombing. They provided security as curious Afghans crowded around.

Vass called the tactical centre back at Camp Julien. Senior officers quickly huddled around a large map of the area. They shared information during updates every 15 minutes, calling for rescue helicopters and sending out troops in armoured vehicles to rescue survivors.

About an hour after the attack came the news that one Canadian was dead.

"North of King's Palace we had a suicide bomber," said Maj. Jamie Morse, deputy commander of 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, breaking the news to sombre fellow officers at the command centre.

"The explosives were strapped to the person's chest. There is one Canadian dead."

Inside the cordoned-off area, a burned-out Iltis vehicle sat on a patch of blackened road, a small Canadian flag hung from its antenna. A white sheet was lying next to it. A civilian car also appeared to have been badly burned in the blast.

The open-backed Iltis vehicle has been the source of controversy since two Canadian soldiers were killed in a mine explosion last October. Sgt. Robert Short and Cpl. Robbie Beerenfenger died Oct. 2 in that incident, also involving an Iltis. Three other soldiers were injured.

Leslie arrived at the camp Tuesday in a Humvee, a vehicle with much heavier armour than the Iltis.

Some soldiers who asked not to be identified were angry about the Iltis and more secure transportation given to the general.

"We're still using the Iltis, and from what I've heard, we're not getting enough of the Mercedes vehicles to replace them," one soldier said.

"It's the same as October ... (The enemy) knows we're vulnerable because they see us out there with them all the time."

Other soldiers suggested the attack may have been retribution for a Canadian raid last week where several suspected terrorists and alleged drug lords were arrested.

"They stirred up a hornet's nest right before we go home," said one soldier. "It's payback."

Camp Julien is the main base of the 2,000 Canadian soldiers who make up 40 per cent of the 5,200-member International Security Assistance Force led by NATO to protect the interim Afghan government.

There have been other attacks on NATO troops in Kabul.

In June, four German soldiers were killed and 29 wounded in a suicide attack on their bus.

And rockets have been fired at the NATO bases by unidentified assailants.






"This act, reprehensible as it is, indicates essentially why you're here. You're here to protect these people from such animals as were involved in taking life of one of our own and injuring others."

What makes a person so desperate that they would do something like this? I be interested to here the Afgan's side of the story, and so should everybody if they want to SERIOUSLY examine what is going on in the world.

RIP Canadian soldier.


Sad. RIP. Condolences to the family.

ttt and rip.

While everyone fucked off to Iraq to fight that war they basically forgot that guys like this stopped anyone from coming down the pipe and bushwacking the rest of the world.

How quickly they forget.

This guy is the reason that I get to be free in my country.





Chimo...bro Chimo...

From soldier to another, RIP.. Rick Waechter, SGT.



Glad to know that Canadians back home are still keeping track of what is happening abroad; most of the media attention switched to other places (U.S. stuff). Any of the opinions you express - or just sentiments - go a long way. I do mma out of Yakimov's in ottawa, but am not due to return from Afghanistan until September. I log on here to keep sanity and tabs on the world at home. Would love to be home checking out some of these awesome events coming up, but your posts on here are what will keep me informed; in case you ever feel like being detailed..hehe. There are at least another 7 or so months that Canadians will be in Kabul and an end to the hostility directed towards us is not likely - there will be more incidents, I'm sure. Keep the soldiers over here on your mind, if possible. Let's hope that the rest make it home safely.

To a friend, Jamie Brendan Murphy

Jamie Brendan Murphy's death did not go unnoticed in Canada. His death, his hometown's reaction to the tragedy, the arrival back home of the coffin and the funeral were all covered in a dignified manner by the media across the country.