Canadian Defence Minister "not
targeted," General says
Politics Watch ® News Services
November 6, 2007, updated 4:45 p.m.
|Defence Minister Peter MacKay was not hurt
after insurgents fired on a base he was touring in
OTTAWA (PoliticsWatch.com) — Canada's
top soldier said Tuesday Defence Minister Peter MacKay was not the
target of a Taliban attack.
MacKay was unharmed after the forward operating base in
Afghanistan he was visiting came under a rocket attack from
"The minister was not subject to an attack," Chief of Defence
Staff General Rick Hillier told reporters after delivering a
speech in Ottawa. "What was subject to an attack was one of our forward operating bases and that has been consistent."
"I think these are things that have occurred coincidental in time and
space," Hillier said.
The attack on the base MacKay was visiting came the same day
insurgents pulled off a brazen suicide bombing that killed 40
people, including six members of the Afghan parliament.
The general downplayed concerns about the security situation in
Afghanistan and noted that he visited and toured the country himself
just two weeks ago.
"Obviously there is still a threat ... but the region is more stable, it is more secure than we have seen it in 12 months."
This marked MacKay's first visit to Afghanistan as defence
minister. After the attack, the minister was rushed off the
base by helicopter and his plans to tour other parts of the country
Later, MacKay told journalists how events unfolded from his
"We heard the explosion," he said. "We heard the whistle overhead. We were told to get down. We did."
"We were taken out of harm's way very quickly and put into an
MacKay said the incident has given him "an even greater
appreciation" of the professionalism of the Canadian troops
serving in Afghanistan.
© Politics Watch News Services 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Politics Watch content, including by framing, copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications Inc (PIRCINC). Fees and charges may be applicable for the copying and or redistribution of Politics Watch content. Politics
Watch ® is registered trademark of PIRCINC.