Trooper Mark Wilson of the Royal Canadian Dragoons. Married, father of two.

OTTAWA, Ontario — A Canadian soldier was killed on October 7 when the RG-31 he was travelling in was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Panjwayi area, approximately 25 km west of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Trooper Mark Wilson of the Royal Canadian Dragoons was the 40th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2002. Wilson's body is expected to arrive at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, on October 11.

There are no reports of any other casualties. The soldier's unit was on patrol between the Zhari District Centre and Bazaar-e-Panjwayi, the location of a new two-lane road which is being constructed with the assistance of the Canadian provincial reconstruction team.

"My thoughts are first and foremost with Mark Andrew Wilson's loved ones," stated Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.

"All Canadians share your sorrow. My thoughts also go to the colleagues of Trooper Wilson and to all members of the Canadian Forces who, despite this tragedy, persevere with courage to fulfill their mission in Afghanistan. We can only admire their resolve and assure them of our continued support in these difficult hours."

"It is with great sorrow that I have learned of the death of Trooper Mark Andrew Wilson, who was killed in the line of duty while helping the people of Afghanistan," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "On behalf of all Canadians I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to his loved ones."

"There is no doubt that Trooper Wilson represented the best of our military and our country. His family and friends can be proud of the fact that this courageous Canadian sacrificed his life for a greater cause. We will honour the memory of Trooper Wilson by remaining steadfast and determined to help Afghans achieve lasting stability and security."

— Prime Minister Stephen Harper

The Pashmul area is where the Canadian Forces have been focusing their efforts during Phase 4 of Operation MEDUSA, the reconstruction and development phase. The IED blast occurred within 1 km of the two most recent incidents which took the lives of three Canadian soldiers.

Canadian troops in Afghanistan are serving alongside soldiers and civilians from 36 countries under the NATO-led, UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force. A key part of Canada's 'whole of government' assistance to Afghanistan is helping establish the security necessary to promote development