Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bodies of 2 Canadian soldiers returned home

Family and friends bid a tearful farewell to two Canadian soldiers, killed over the weekend in Afghanistan, at a sombre repatriation ceremony in Trenton, Ont., on Tuesday.

Sapper Mathieu Allard, 21, and Cpl. Christian Bobbitt, 23, died in a roadside bomb attack in the Zhari district, west of Kandahar, on Saturday.

The plane carrying their flag-draped coffins touched down at CFB Trenton just after 2 p.m. ET Tuesday. Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean and Defence Minister Peter MacKay were among the dignitaries on the tarmac.

Bobbitt is survived by his spouse, Felicia, his brother, Jonathan, and his parents, Liane and Yvan. Allard leaves his parents, René and Christine, and his two younger brothers, Pierre and Yves.

Allard and Bobbitt had left their vehicle to secure an area after an initial blast near the town of Senjaray, 15 kilometres west of Kandahar City, when they were killed by a second explosion.

The two combat engineers had served in Afghanistan with the 2e Batallion of the Royal 22e Regiment, based in Valcartier, Que.

After the ceremony, their bodies were carried along the stretch of Highway 401 known as the Highway of Heroes to the coroner's office in Toronto.

Since 2002, 127 Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died during the mission in Afghanistan.

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