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IED attack injures three Canadian soldiers


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A roadside bomb injured three Canadian soldiers out on a mine-clearing mission in the Arghandab district of Afghanistan on Saturday.

Their injuries are not serious. Two have already been released from hospital at Kandahar Airfield while a third remains for observation. The two released soldiers will get a short rest period to recover further.

Lt.-Commander Pierre Babinsky told reporters in Kandahar the incident happened about 1 p.m. local time.

In the bigger picture, Saturday's incident was minor, he said.

"We've conducted in the past few months, a series of extremely successful security operations," he said.

"We have the initiative. The insurgents have not been able to impose any significant resistance; therefore, they have to resort these harassment tactics."

Insurgent attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain a "fact of life," Babinsky said. However, "we have the right equipment, the right training and the right people to deal with all the challenges this environment throws at us. And we've been successful at it," he said.

Babinsky didn't disclose the nature of the soldiers' injuries, their units or their home towns.

IEDs are a major risk to Canadian soldiers. Most of the 73 soldiers who have died in operations since 2002 have been killed by IEDs.

CTV's Murray Oliver told Newsnet from Kandahard that the soldiers were taken to hospital by helicopter. Soldiers at the base are relieved their comrades are okay, he said.

The injured men were travelling in a Nyala RG-31 armoured vehicle as part of a convoy when the blast occurred, he said.

"It's a big, four-wheeled vehicle that rides very high off the ground. It's designed to withstand explosions like this," he said.

When an IED or mine detonates underneath, the vehicle's elevation means the blast vents out the side and the passengers don't take much of a blast, Oliver said.


Get well soon troops