Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment

Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Nfld., was killed when a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body, reportedly jumped on one of two Iltis jeeps carrying six Canadian soldiers on patrol. Three other Canadian soldiers were injured in the blast.

The bombing comes as members of the regiment were in the process of returning to Canada after a six-month tour of duty. Murphy was due to return home next Friday.

The Taliban has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Iltis is a lightly armoured vehicle that came under criticism when two Canadian soldiers were killed in October after their vehicle hit an explosive device while on a routine patrol in Kabul. Critics say the Iltis, which has been in service since the mid-1980s, is unsafe.

In March, troops will begin using new German-made Gelaendewagens, called G-Wagons, which are believed to offer more protection.

"I don't think the type of vehicle had any bearing on the outcome on this unfortunate loss of life," said Henault.

Military officials said the blast went off around 8:30 a.m. local time near two Iltis jeeps carrying six soldiers in a convoy. They were on a routine patrol in the western side of Kabul about one kilometre from Camp Julien, the main base housing most of Canada's 2,000 soldiers.

"There was a bump in the road, and when they slowed down to pass over it a terrorist jumped on one of the vehicles and blew himself up," said Ali Jan Askaryar, head of police in the western district of Kabul.

Lieut. Jason Matthew Feyko, 30, of Peterborough, Ont., Cpl. Jeremy Gerald MacDonald, 30, of Burnt Islands, Nfld. and Cpl. Richard Michael Newman, 23, of Hartland, N.B., were wounded in the attack. They have non-life threatening injuries.

One of the injured soldiers was transported to a German medical facility to undergo surgery. He has shrapnel wounds to his face and may have damage to an eye.

The two other soldiers remain in the care of Canadian medical staff at Camp Julien. One has shrapnel injuries to his upper body, while another suffered very minor injuries.

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic incident that claimed the life of Cpl. Jamie Murphy and injured three others," Minister of National Defence David Pratt said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathies are with the families and friends of the victims of this terrible event."

All of the soldiers are members of the International Security and Assistance Force, and are taking part in policing and security operations in Kabul.

One Afghan civilian died and eight others were injured in the attack and are being treated in hospital.

In October, two other Canadians were killed in Kabul. Sgt. Robert Allan Short, 42, and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger, 29, died when a suspected landmine was detonated under their Iltis jeep. Master Cpl. Jason Cory Hamilton, Cpl. Thomas Stirling and Cpl. Cameron Lee Laidlaw were hurt in the blast.

The latest attack comes less than a week after members of a second contingent of Canadian troops began heading to Afghanistan. They will replace the first wave of troops who have been there for the past six months.

The Taliban is taking responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed a Canadian soldier and wounded three others outside Kabul, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Nfld., was killed Tuesday while on a routine patrol through the outskirts of Kabul in an Iltis vehicle.

When the two jeeps in the convoy slowed down for a bump in the road near a bombed-out former palace, the attacker jumped onto one of the vehicles and detonated explosives that were apparently strapped to his chest. Murphy died instantly.

"They were just outside the main gate of Camp Julien on a road that is used by all members of the International Security Assistance Force," Gen. Ray Henault, Chief of the Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces, told reporters Tuesday.

Three Canadian soldiers were wounded. They are: Lt. Jason Matthew Feyko, 30 of Peterborough, Ont.; Cpl. Jeremy Gerald MacDonald, 30, of Burnt Island, Nfld. Cpl. Richard Michael Newman, 23, of Hartland, N.B.

All were members of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario.

None of the three wounded suffered life-threatening injuries. One walked into hospital at Camp Julien on his own, military officials said. Another was flown to German medical facilities at the Kabul International Airport where he had surgery for an eye injury. The third soldier had superficial wounds.

"They're under the best of care right now and it looks like they're going to be OK," said Maj. Jay Janzen, public affairs officer for the regiment.

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed responsibility. "This attack was carried out by us," Hamid Agha told Reuters.

Another Taliban official, Abdul Latif Hakimi, said there were several hundred Taliban supporters waiting to carry out similar attacks against foreign "infidels."

The military says as many as nine Afghan civilians walking nearby were hurt in the blast. One later died in hospital.

Defence Minister David Pratt joined Henault to offer condolences to the families of the victims. Pratt said the death is a stark reminder of the sacrifices Canadian Forces members make.