Roadside bomb kills three Canadian soldiers in Panjwaye, Afghanistan

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Private Joel Vincent Wiebe.
Image: CFB Edmonton, Garrison Imaging, DND.
Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane.
Image: CFB Edmonton, Garrison Imaging, DND.

The identities of three Canadian soldiers killed Wednesday in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan have been released by the Department of National Defence (DND). The three soldiers were killed at approximately 7:49 a.m. local time, when their unarmoured all-terrain vehicle received the force of a nearby bomb blast.

The identities of the three soldiers were reported as follows:

  • Corporal Stephen Frederick Bouzane, age 26, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry;
  • Private Joel Vincent Wiebe, age 22, 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry; and
  • Sergeant Christos Karigiannis, (age not provided), 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

At the request of the family, Sergeant Christos Karigiannis' identity had been held back by DND.

The latest deaths brought the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in the Afghan mission, which began in 2002, to 60.

Canadian Brigadier-General Tim Grant commented on the fact that the incident took place in a secure zone in the Panjwaye District, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Kandahar, and approximately 6 km west of Forward Operating Base Sperwan-Gar. "A determined enemy clearly was able to penetrate the defences and the observation in the area to plant the device," said Grant. The soldiers had been carrying out a routine operation, which involved transporting supplies between two checkpoints.

Grant described the unarmoured soldier's vehicle as "appropriate for the task at hand." He did concede, however, that changes may have to be made to the protocol. "We will review our procedures and if we determine that we need to change them, then we will do so," said Grant.

Corporal Bouzane's father, Fred Bouzane, said that his son will be buried in the town of his birth, Little Bay, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. "Stephen's smile and dry sense of humour touched everyone he met. He was a quiet, kind and dedicated man who loved his chosen profession and was excited to be in Afghanistan helping the Afghan people," the family said in a statement.