July 11, 2006


Canadians kill 20 Taliban in intense battle: Fiercest fighting for troops since Cyprus and Korea, commander says (Matthew Fisher, July 11, 2006, CanWest News Service)

The most intense fighting Canadian troops have been part of since the civil wars in Cyprus or the Korean War involved virtually the entire 1st Battalion Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry and the big guns of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, as well as U.S. fighter jets, attack helicopters and armed airborne drones.

The Battle of Zharei/Panjwei tailed off at dusk yesterday in the village of Pashmol with at least 20 Taliban dead, 20 seriously wounded and six captured, according to General Ahmad (who goes by one name only) of the Afghan Army. [...]

Among the prisoners seized was a Taliban dubbed "the Man Who Wouldn't Die," because he had eluded multiple attempts by Canadian troops and coalition aircraft to kill him. The insurgent was finally captured yesterday in a tunnel complex underneath the compound where Corporal Anthony Boneca of Thunder Bay was shot and killed on Sunday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hope, the Patricias' commander, praised Cpl. Boneca -- the 17th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan.

"We know it will cost in the lives of our soldiers and we will pay that cost," Lt.-Col. Hope told a news conference held for Afghan and Canadian journalists at the forward operating base, which was crowded with weary and dirty soldiers returning from battle in LAV (light armoured vehicle) III and Bison armoured fighting vehicles.

After about 1,000 Canadian and coalition troops paid their respects at a ramp ceremony at Kandahar Airfield at dawn yesterday. A C-130 Hercules carried Cpl. Boneca's flag-draped casket on the first leg of the long journey back to northwestern Ontario.

Three other Patricias infantrymen were hospitalized with injuries suffered during the fighting. Four other Pats were treated for severe heat stroke after daytime temperatures touched 60C.

When an engagement where you lose one guy is an eleven, what does that make the wars your fathers and grandfathers fought? Apocalyptic?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2006 4:17 PM

60C = 140F.

I hope they weren't dressed for that Brutal Afgan Winter.

Posted by: Mike Earl at July 11, 2006 4:27 PM

maybe he's using a 100 point scale...

Like the time Reggie Jackson was bragging about his 160 IQ and Mickey Rivers asked, "What's that, Buck, out of a thousand?"

Posted by: Foos at July 11, 2006 4:38 PM

I believe Canadian KIA in WWI were something like 75,000 out of a population probably less than 10 million, a loss equivalent to over 2 million in the US of 2006

Posted by: George at July 11, 2006 7:12 PM

C'mon, we all know they are just doing this to gain the combat experience they need to take on those bloodthirsty Danish Viking occupiers of Hans Island and to take back what is rightfully Canada's!

(Speaking of disputed islands in the middle of nowhere, I saw a report that Argentina has decided it's time to make noise about its claims to "Las Malvinas" again.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 11, 2006 10:59 PM

"...what does that make the wars your fathers and grandfathers fought?"


Posted by: Andrew X at July 12, 2006 9:31 AM