CTV reported that Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner announced the death from Kandahar Airfield on Saturday and quoted him as saying, "While an investigation is still ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding his death, foul play and enemy action have been ruled out."Bombardier Karl Manning, 31, was found dead in Afghanistan on Friday, in what is being called a "non-hostile" incident.
Manning, a native of Chicoutimi, Que., joined the Canadian Forces three years ago and was deployed an artillery solider and radar operator to Kandahar on his first foreign tour last December with the 1 Royal 22e Regiment battle group. He spent most of his tour of duty posted at a remote base in Panjwaii district.
The Toronto Sun quoted a statement issued early Saturday morning from Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence: "It is with the utmost sorrow that I offer my sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Bombardier Karl Manning, who died yesterday in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. The Canadian Forces continue to make a positive difference in Afghanistan while protecting and promoting both Canadian and international security. Canadians are grateful for Bdr Manning’s service and are proud of the contributions of all the men and women in uniform. This is a tragic loss for the Canadian Forces and all of Canada. Bdr Manning’s hard work and dedication will not be forgotten."
From AFP, a statement from Stephen Harper: "To the family and friends of Bombardier Karl Manning... I offer my sincerest condolences. The government of Canada is proud of the men and women that serve in Canada's Armed Forces... It is these men and women that make a difference every day in Afghanistan saving lives, contributing to the peace and stability of Afghanistan, as well as the security of Canada."
If this death is ruled a suicide, Manning would be the fourth soldier connected to the Afghan mission to have died by their own hands while posted overseas. The Canadian Press state that 50 men in uniform have committed suicide between 2005 and 2009.
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