William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

A CANADIAN INFANTRYMAN KIA IDENTIFIED

Terrorists killed an Infantryman, from our PPCLI.
Master Corporal Byron Greff was too young to die.
A suicide bomber attacked his armoured plate bus.
This has causes great grief to old veterans like us.

The Mission had just ended, or so we were told.
The troops all came home, our brave and our bold.
Our ACIs stayed on site, to train the Afghan Troops.
They are still on the ground, in their combat boots.

Thirteen others died too, in the terrorist bomb blast.
On November the 11th, our flag will be at half-mast
We have added his name to the list of our fallen.
The serving of one’s Country is a very noble calling.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with his family tonight.
Knowing he took the big risk when he joined up to fight.
May God bless him, and keep safe each Kabul Afghan ACI.
Let no more of our brave soldiers have to suffer and die.

Master Cpl. Byron Greff
Master Cpl. Byron Greff of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton, is shown in this undated photo. (Department of National Defence)

Canadian Soldier Killed In Afghan Blast Identified

CTVNews.ca Staff

A Canadian soldier was among 13 NATO troops killed in a suicide attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Saturday morning.

The troops were killed when a suicide bomber slammed a van filled with explosives into a NATO bus, blasting the armoured carrier onto its side.

NATO has confirmed that 13 service members were killed in the attack.

Late Saturday morning, Department of National Defence spokesperson LtCol Christian Lemay confirmed to CTV News that a Canadian was among the soldiers killed in the blast.

Officials identified the deceased as Master Cpl. Byron Greff, an Edmonton-based soldier from the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Greff was in Afghanistan as a trainer and mentor.

Lemay told CTVNews.ca that the soldier's family has been notified and is being offered support.

He added that the defence department is working on returning the soldier's body to Canada before any funeral arrangements are made.

The Taliban has taken responsibility for the attack that also killed three Afghan citizens and a policeman, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

The death is the first since Canadian combat operations in Kandahar ended earlier this year and the new training mission involving 920 soldiers began.

While information continues to trickle in about the blast, retired Col. Michel Drapeau said Taliban militants remain a threat wherever a soldier is in training or fighting mode.

"From a political and a tactical perspective they want to inflict casualties whether they are Canadians or Americans… to advance their political agenda," he told CTV News Channel on Sunday.

The recent attack occurred near a base where Canadians, along with soldiers from other countries, are training Afghan army.

A "Relatively Safe" Mission

In the past, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has described the training mission as "relatively safe." He had said that the mission -- which runs until 2014 -- would take place behind the wire of fortified bases.

But Saturday's attack may be a precursor to more violence in Kabul, said Drapeau.

"It's a foretelling sign," he said. "It is perhaps not as dangerous as what it was in Kandahar but the Taliban as I say, they hide and they will rely on those tactics."

At the time of the attack, the armoured bus -- known as a Rhino -- was travelling down a highway sandwiched between a fleet of mine-resistant military vehicles. The four-lane roadway is said to be used often by NATO forces.

The explosion sent shrapnel flying out onto the street. Smoke billowed out of the burning wreckage of the bus.

Eight other Afghans, including two children and four other civilians, were injured as well, said Kabir Amiri, head of Kabul hospitals.

Earlier in the day, a U.S. official had said that all the soldiers killed in the attack were American. The Canadian death was announced a few hours after the official's statement.

The Taliban has also claimed responsibility for another suicide bombing that took place outside a government intelligence province in the northwest province of Kunar.