KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CP) - A devastating roadside-bomb explosion killed six Canadian soldiers Sunday in the worst single-day toll for the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, military officials said.

The explosion west of Kandahar city also caused serious but non-life-threatening injuries to one Canadian soldier and light injuries to another, said Col. Mike Cessford, deputy commander of the Canadian contingent in Kandahar.

"The soldiers were in a moving vehicle when the blast occurred around 1:00 p.m." Col Mike Ceswsford stated. "You can appreciate, clearly we are saddened by the loss of six our best soldiers ... but we stay committed to the mission," he said. "This is what we do. We are focused on rebuilding Afghanistan, on doing the right things for those kids who wave at us every day as we drive down the roads here."

NR-07.020 - April 9, 2007

Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the deaths of Six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan

OTTAWA – The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the deaths of six Canadian soldiers:

“It is with the utmost sorrow that I extend my condolences, and those of all Canadians, to the families and friends of Sergeant Donald Lucas, Corporal Brent D. Poland, Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix, Corporal Aaron E. Williams, Private David Robert Greenslade, and Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy.

Those who fell will be deeply missed by the Canadian Forces family. The dedication and bravery of these soldiers will be forever remembered. I also extend my wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.

Our troops have a clear mission - to build security and stability in Afghanistan. And it is because our soldiers are succeeding in this mission that they came under attack.

It is in Canada’s national interest that the people of Afghanistan regain control of their own destiny - to ensure their country never again becomes a launching pad for global terrorism. There can be no doubt that the desperate terrorists who carried out yesterday’s attack want to return a murderous regime to power.