Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Bloody July for NATO in Afghanistan

Another Canadian soldier has died in Afghanistan. He tripped on a land mine and the blast catapulted him down a mountain cliff where he fell to his death. Private S├ębastien Courcy, 26, died around 6 a.m. Kandahar time, while taking part in military operations in the Panjwai district, about 17 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city. Pte. Courcy was a member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment - known as the Vandoos - based in Valcartier, Que., and had arrived in Afghanistan in April. He was serving in the battalion's battle group. Born in St-Hyacinthe, just east of Montreal,. Pte. Courcy enlisted with the Canadian Forces in 2006. He was completing his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He leaves his mother, Ginette Courcy, and sister, Julie.

July has been a deadly month for NATO troops in general, with at least 47 soldiers killed so far, including 24 Americans and 15 Britons. The spike is due, in part, to a massive U.S.-led operation in Helmand province, Kandahar's neighbour to the west and the opium poppy-producing capital of the world. Some 20,000 U.S. Marines are in, or on their way to, Afghanistan as part of U.S. President Barack Obama's strategy shift in Washington's anti-terrorism campaign.

...Report from the THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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