NR-06.037 - July 9, 2006

Canadian soldier Corporal Anthony Joseph Boneca was killed during an engagement with Taliban insurgents that occurred approximately 25 kilometres west of Kandahar Airfield. The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. Kandahar time (12:00 a.m. EDT) on 9 July, 2006.

Cpl. Boneca was serving with Task Force Afghanistan as part of the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) Battle Group. Cpl. Boneca was a member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, which is based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Cpl. Boneca’s unit was operating in Zjarey district as part of Operation Zahar, which means “Sword” in Pashto. Operation Zahar is a joint Afghan National Army/Coalition security operation aimed at removing the Taliban threat to Afghan citizens in the region west of Kandahar City while strengthening the Afghan Government's authority in the area.

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the passing of Corporal Anthony Joseph Boneca

Ottawa, Ontario

The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the passing of Corporal Anthony Joseph Boneca.

"It is with deepest sorrow that I learned of the death of Corporal Anthony Joseph Boneca, who was killed during operations this morning in Afghanistan at approximately 8:30 a.m. local time. Corporal Boneca was a member of the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, based in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of this brave soldier, who died in the name of democracy, protecting the freedoms we cherish so strongly as Canadians.

Canada will mourn the loss of Corporal Boneca but he will not be forgotten. His memory will live on through the people whose lives he has touched, while fulfilling our mission to bring peace and security to Afghanistan.

There are risks involved in this operation, but our members are among the best trained, and most experienced soldiers in the world. They are fully prepared for the mission in Afghanistan. Corporal Boneca's courage in the face of danger demonstrates the tenacity and strength of all our CF members and it is with pride that I say he represents the best of Canada--an inspiration to his countrymen.

I stand in honour of his sacrifice and my thoughts and prayers are with him."