CTV.ca News Staff
A Canadian soldier was killed in Afghanistan Sunday when one of two roadside bombs he was trying to defuse exploded.
Cpl. Martin Dube, 35, was the second Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan in a week.
The explosion also killed an Afghan police officer and gravely injured a local interpreter.
Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance described Dube as "energetic" and as someone who believed in the Afghan mission. He said the combat engineer was always willing to help anyone in need.
"The IED that Martin was dismantling could have killed an entire family, as it was deliberately aimed at passing traffic," Vance, the senior Canadian solider in Kandahar, said.
"His actions, his sacrifice, saved the lives of innocents."
Dube was from 5e Regiment du Genie de Combat based at CFB Valcartier near Quebec City.
The explosion occurred just after noon in the Panjwaii district, which is about 20 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city.
Last Monday, Pte. Alexandre Peloquin died in the same district when he stepped on an explosive device.
Dube was the 120th Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences in a statement Sunday offering "deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Cpl. Dube."
"We are eternally grateful for his sacrifice for this country, while helping to ensure a brighter future for the Afghan people. We are all saddened by this loss," Harper said.
"The bravery and dedication of the exceptional men and women of the Canadian Forces is demonstrated on a daily basis. Their tireless work to make Afghanistan a better place to live are testaments to Canada's most respected and revered values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."
Vance, seemingly addressing civilians back in Canada, said that grief over the soldier's death would not get in the way of the mission.
"The loss of a soldier is not an indication of failure, nor cause for hopelessness -- Martin Dube knew that, and so should you," Vance said.
"We are determined to succeed so that Afghan lives improve; but our enemies are equally determined to challenge and prevent Afghanistan from flourishing as the nation it so wants to be."
Dube is survived by his girlfriend, Julie, his parents, Marie-Paule and Roger and his brother Vincent.
The interpreter was flown to Kandahar Airfield Hospital. His condition is not known.
With files from The Canadian Press
Canadian soldier killed trying to defuse bomb CTV