Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sgt. James Macneil of Glace Bay, N.S., was killed Monday, July 21, 2010 while on a foot patrol in Nakhoney, 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar.

Macneil was a combat engineer with 2 Combat Engineer Regiment of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont. A 10-year army veteran, the 28-year-old Cape Bretoner was two months into his fourth tour in Afghanistan.

The sapper, who was known to his comrades and friends as "Jimmy," was patrolling with other members of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group in Panjwaii District, when he was killed by an improvised explosive device -- a homemade landmine.

He is the 148th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2002.

"Insurgent forces use improvised explosive devices to instil fear in the local population and restrict the efforts of those attempting to aid and protect that population," Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance said in announcing Macneil's death near a memorial honouring all those Canadians who have fallen in Afghanistan.

Eight other NATO soldiers were killed in militant attacks and a helicopter crash on Monday, the second deadliest day this year.

Three Australian commandos and a U.S. soldier were killed when their helicopter crashed in southern Kandahar province -- the single worst loss of life for the Australian military in the nearly nine-year Afghan war. It was not known if it was due to hostile fire.

Another U.S. soldier died in an explosion elsewhere in the south, the power base of the Taliban militia that is fighting an increasingly deadly insurgency against Western troops.

Three more American soldiers were killed in other militant attacks, a NATO spokesman said.


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