Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan returning home

The bodies of two Canadian soldiers — including the highest-ranking officer killed in combat in Afghanistan — were on their final journey home to Canada Tuesday.

Maj. Yannick Pepin, 36, and Cpl. Jean-François Drouin, 31, were killed Sunday by a roadside bomb while on patrol southwest of Kandahar.

Flag-draped coffins carrying their bodies were loaded onto a military aircraft at Kandahar Airfield after a ramp ceremony Monday attended by more than 1,000 Canadian, U.S., Dutch and British soldiers.

Pepin and Drouin were members of the 5 Combat Engineer Regiment based in Valcartier, Que. Pepin was a native of Victoriaville, Que., and Drouin was born in Quebec City.

Since 2002, 129 Canadian soldiers have died as part of the Afghan mission.

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