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Canadian soldier found dead in military gym in Jordan

A Canadian soldier who was looking at ways to train the Jordanian military as part of Canada's fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has died, the Department of National Defence said Thursday.

Maj. Scott Foote, 50, of Carbonear, N.L., was found unconscious in a military gym in Jordan's capital city of Amman, officials said. Foote was pronounced dead after attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

His death has been labelled non-combat related. National Defence has launched an investigation, but officials said there were no indications of foul play.

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A veteran of Afghanistan, Foote arrived in Jordan at the beginning of September as part of a small team tasked with examining ways in which the Canadian Forces could train Jordanian counterparts.

"This mission is not a combat mission," said Maj.-Gen. Omer Lavoie, commander of 1 Canadian Division in Kingston, Ont., where Foote was most recently serving as a logistics officer.

"It's a mission where we're there to enhance the capabilities of the Jordanian Armed Forces in areas such as resources, planning, organization and equipment."

A similar team is currently working in Lebanon. Lavoie said both missions fall under the umbrella of Canada's broader effort to fight ISIL.

Foote was to return to Canada just before Christmas, Lavoie said. He leaves behind a wife and son.

"Maj. Foote was a good Newfoundlander and always maintained his eastern roots," Lavoie said.

"Scott was level-headed, jovial and a good mentor for his peers. He was an outstanding officer and a great member of my team here at 1st Canadian Division."

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