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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 April 2006, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Afghan blast kills Canada troops
Canadian officer questions suspected Taleban supporter after the attack
It was Canada's worst combat loss since arriving in Afghanistan
Four Canadian soldiers have been killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan, Canadian military officials have said.

The blast happened in the Shah Wali Kot district to the north of Kandahar, spokesman Lt Mark MacIntyre said.

The soldiers were travelling in a military convoy when their armoured vehicle was hit, Lt MacIntyre said.

Spokesmen for Taleban militants phoned news agencies to claim responsibility, saying that attacks on coalition forces would continue.

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Canada has about 2,300 troops in Afghanistan.

In February, it took charge of an international force hunting down former Taleban members.

Spring offensive

According to Lt MacIntyre, the blast happened at about 0730 (0300 GMT) as the Canadian soldiers were on patrol.

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"Other soldiers secured the area and tried to rescue them but to no avail," he said.

Fifteen Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Afghanistan says that Canadian troops are in the south of the country as part of a Nato expansion into the region.

However, our correspondent says that attacks in the already restive region have been increasing in recent months.

The Taleban recently announced they had launched a spring offensive against coalition troops.




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