Female Canadian soldier killed in Afghan roadside bomb blast

Female Canadian soldier killed in Afghan roadside bomb blast Kabul - A female Canadian soldier serving with NATO forces was killed and four others were wounded by a roadside bomb in the volatile southern region, officials said Tuesday. Trooper Karine Blais was killed and four of her comrades were wounded when their armoured vehicle was blown up in Shah Walikot district of southern Kandahar province on Monday afternoon, the Canadian defence ministry said in a statement.

"The injured soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield," the statement said, but did not elaborate on their condition.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted at their website, saying the tank was blown up by remote control in the Chama area of the district.

The statement said that NATO helicopters evacuated the victims, but the destroyed tank was still in the area.

Blais was the second female soldier to die in Afghanistan since the fall of Taliban regime in late 2001. A total of 116 Canadian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past seven years.

Canada has more than 2,500 soldiers as part of some 60,000-strong NATO-led troops deployed to Afghanistan from 42 nations. The Canadian forces are stationed in the restive province of Kandahar. (dpa)