Calgary-based journalist among 5 killed in Afghanistan
Four Canadian soldiers, and a Calgary-based reporter, were killed Wednesday in Kandahar city in Afghanistan.
Reporters at the base at Kandahar airfield have identified the journalist as 34-year-old Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang.
CTV News has learned the woman had been in Afghanistan for just over two weeks for an assignment for Canwest News Service. This was her first assignment in the country.
The incident occurred a few kilometres south of Kandahar City 4 p.m., as a result of an improvised explosive device attack on an armoured vehicle during a patrol.
"Yesterday, Canada lost five citizens," said Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard, commander of coalition forces in Kandahar. "The soldiers were conducting a community security patrol in order to gather information on the pattern of life and maintain security in the area."
Menard said Lang was travelling with the troops to get an understanding of what Canada's soldiers are doing in Afghanistan.
The names of the soldiers have not been released as the Department of National Defence says next-of-kin are currently being notified.
To date, 138 Canadian soldiers have now been killed while serving in Canada's eight-year mission in Afghanistan. Lang becomes the first Canadian journalist killed in Afghanistan.
The woman's first article for the paper was published on Dec. 20th. Last year, the 34-year-old won a National Newspaper Award for her health care reporting.
Alberta's Health Minister Ron Liepert released a statement late Wednesday afternoon offering his condolences to Lang's loved ones.
"Michelle covered health issues with professionalism, accuracy and thoroughness. She was tenacious in her quest to inform Albertans, and for her diligence she was very well respected. I express my condolences to her family, friends and all who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very heartbreaking time."
According to the Calgary Herald, Lang was scheduled to return to Calgary on Jan. 22.
With files from CTV.ca News Staff