Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan

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TORONTO, Sep 25 (Reuters) A Canadian soldier was killed and four were wounded during a military operation in southern Afghanistan, the Canadian military said.

The casualties occurred today afternoon during a joint operation with Afghan forces aimed at improving security and creating a new police sub-station in the northern part of the Panjwayi district, west of Kandahar.

Canada has some 2,600 soldiers based in the Kandahar region in an operation that has become increasingly unpopular at home.

Seventy-one Canadian soldiers have been killed since the operation began.

Opposition parties have been calling on the minority Conservative government to commit to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan by February 2009.

The military said the dead soldier was a reserve soldier from the western province of Alberta.

REUTERS JK RN1809

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