An Edmonton-based soldier has been killed in Afghanistan.
Sapper Brian Collier, 24, was killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during a foot patrol in the Panjwa’i District, about 15 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City. The incident happened Tuesday at approximately 9 a.m. Kandahar time.
Collier served with 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, based out of Edmonton Garrison.
“We are all thinking of the family and friends of our Canadian fallen comrade during this sad time,” said a military press release.
“We will not forget Sapper Collier’s sacrifice as we continue to bring security and hope to the people of Kandahar Province.”
Collier is the 151st Canadian soldier killed in the Afghan mission since it began in 2002. There have been 13 deaths this year.
Media reports indicate that Collier was born in Toronto and raised in Brantford, Ont. This was his first deployment to Afghanistan. He had been previously injured in a separate IED blast.
“He fought hard to overcome his injury in order to get back to doing his job with his comrades,” Brig.-Gen. Jon Vance, commander of Task Force Kandahar, said in a statement.
“Always quick to smile, Brian had an easygoing nature and a great sense of humour. Brian was an enthusiast of fine automobiles and loved to spend time with his Audi,” Vance said.
“Any Canadian who could have seen Brian in action would have been proud of him and proud of our country for the work being done with and for Afghans.”
Collier’s death is the first for a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan since June 26, when Master Cpl. Kristal Giesebrecht, 34, and Pte. Andrew Miller, 21, died after the vehicle they were in struck an IED.