CEFCOM NR–06.028 - October 3, 2006
OTTAWA - Two Canadian soldiers were killed and a number of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops were injured today when ISAF forces operating in the Panjwayi area were attacked by mortars, rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire. The attack occurred at approximately 4:50 p.m. Kandahar time, about 20 km west of Kandahar City as ISAF forces worked to clear a route of mines and improvised explosive devices for a future road construction project. A number of ISAF soldiers, including Canadians suffered injuries in the attack. All of the injured Canadian soldiers have non-life threatening injuries. They are being treated at the Canadian-led multinational hospital at Kandahar Airfield.
The Canadian soldiers killed in today's attack in Afghanistan are Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam and Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell, both members of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa , Ontario .
The ISAF forces were in Panjwayi district, Kandahar Province , to help bring security and normalcy to the area after Canadian, Afghan and international forces successfully forced out Taliban insurgents from the area. The insurgents had previously caused civilians to flee the area due to threats, intimidation and violence.
Canadian troops are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people rebuild their social and civil infrastructure. Taliban attacks will not deter Canadian efforts to help Afghanistan achieve peace and stability in a free and democratic society.
Statement by the Minister of National Defence on the Deaths of Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam and Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell
NR-06.072 - October 3, 2006
OTTAWA - The Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the deaths of Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam and Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell:
“Two Canadian soldiers, Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam and Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell, were killed today in the Panjwayi area in Afghanistan, and I extend my deepest condolences, on behalf of all Canadians, to their family and friends.
These brave young men were working alongside their fellow comrades to clear mines and improvised explosive devices from a route for a future road construction project, when they came under attack. Five other Canadian soldiers were hurt in the attack, and we pray for their speedy recovery from their injuries.
Our Canadian Forces members in Afghanistan face an enemy that will go to any length to try to undermine any progress made for Afghans to have a brighter future. The courage demonstrated by Sergeant Gillam and Corporal Mitchell speaks volumes to their dedication to our country and to this mission. Canada will remain steadfast, and Taliban attacks will not deter our efforts to help Afghanistan achieve peace and stability.
These soldiers lost their lives in a mission to prevent Afghanistan from reverting to a safe haven for terrorists and their destructive networks. Canada will remain forever grateful for their service, and we are all saddened by this loss.”
Sergeant Craig Paul Gillam and Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell were both members of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa, Ontario.