NATO soldiers honour fallen Canadians

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Sunday, at Kandahar International Airport in Afghanistan, over 3,000 NATO soldiers honoured four recently fallen Canadians who died in combat and returned home on Monday.

On Friday, a blast in Zhari District killed Canadian Master Corporal Scott Vernelli and Corporal Tyler Crooks of the The Royal Canadian Regiment. A separate bomb incident in Kandahar City killed Troopers Corey Joseph Hayes and Jack Bouthillier of the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Kandahar International Airport at night

This is the third time in March that Canadians have fallen in Afghanistan.

"The deaths of four young soldiers and the injuries of others ... reminds us once again of the sacrifices these people make, and that military men and women have made historically, to give us what we have today," said Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, said "Canada has 100,000 of its citizens buried on this continent. I called four parents and spouses yesterday as a result of recent casualties in Afghanistan. There's so much at stake. We can't fail in Afghanistan, we can't fail in this important alliance. And the world's depending on us."

Canada has previously stated that will end its part in the combat mission, which currently involves 2500 troops, in 2011.