OTTAWA – At approximately 1:40 p.m. local time (in Kandahar) today, Sapper Étienne Gonthier, Age 21, 5th Combat Engineer Regiment, Valcartier Québec who was part of a convoy was killed when the armoured vehicle he was in struck a suspected Improvised Explosive Device ( IED), 35 km South-West of Kandahar City. Two Canadian soldiers were also injured. The injured soldiers were evacuated by helicopter to the Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield. They are in good condition and have returned to duty. They have completed next of kin self-notification.

Sapper Étienne Gonthier was part of a team of sappers conducting route clearance ahead of a convoy in the Panjwaiyi District. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sapper Gonthier , and with his comrades in Afghanistan who remain committed to helping Afghans improve their living conditions and build a free and democratic society. The courage and dedication demonstrated by Sapper Gonthier in his efforts to assist the Afghan national security forces represent Canadian values in the finest tradition.

We have lost a fine Canadian today, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this brave soldier. He will be greatly missed.