OTTAWA– A Canadian soldier died of his injuries following an engagement involving coalition forces, insurgents and security personnel from a civilian convoy in the Zharey District around 9 a.m. (Kandahar time) today. An investigation is being conducted to determine the details surrounding this incident and further information will be made public as it becomes available.

The fallen soldier is Master Corporal Joshua Brian Roberts of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Shilo, Manitoba. First aid was administered to MCpl Roberts immediately following the incident. He was evacuated by helicopter to Kandahar Air Field’s Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility, but sadly was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson provided few details on the complicated circumstances of the battle but said an investigation is underway into the death of the soon-to-be father who was shot early Saturday.

Canadian troops were engaging a group of about 15 insurgents along a rugged tract of farmland in the volatile Zhari district, an area known to be a Taliban hotbed. But a convoy from a private security company was passing by and may have accidentally opened fire on the troops.

"There was a civilian convoy in the vicinity and the incident will be investigated," Thompson told reporters at Kandahar Airfield, the main coalition base in the southern province.

"The death of Roberts is being investigated and until we have conclusive results of the investigation, I can't give you a definitive statement."

Roberts, of Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based out of Shilo, Man., served as a crew commander with the 9th Platoon, Charlie Company.

He was shot while in the turret of his armoured vehicle.

He was involved in an operation with the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and their Canadian Forces mentors at the time.

"We are deeply affected by this loss. Josh will be greatly missed by his military family," Thompson said.