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Cpl. Yannick Scherrer, shown in this undated handout photo, was on a foot patrol Sunday near Nakhonay, southwest of Kandahar city, when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. The 24-year-old Montreal native was on his first tour in the country.

DND/DND/The Canadian Press

The death toll among Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan rose to 155 Sunday when 24-year-old Corporal Yannick Scherrer of Victoriaville, Quebec, was killed by a roadside bomb.

Cpl. Scherrer was on foot patrol near Nakhonay, southwest of Kandahar City, when he died.

He was a member of the 1st Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment, based in CFB Valcartier in Quebec.

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It was his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, an uncle of the slain soldier confirmed in a brief telephone Interview. The uncle declined to elaborate, saying any further information should come from Cpl. Scherrer's father, who was not immediately available.

Cpl. Scherrer was the first Canadian to die in Afghanistan since Dec. 18, when Cpl. Steve Martin was killed, also felled by an IED.

Cpl. Sherrer was on a security patrol with the Afghan National Army when he was killed Sunday.

Just the day before his death, Cpl. Scherrer wrote on his Facebook page that he was looking forward to a leave in Thailand in two weeks.

He had been in Afghanistan since December. His rotation was to end in July.

"it's been a month I've been gone, I've got six more. Damn it's a long time," he wrote on Facebook in January.

Other posts alluded to the violence he witnessed.

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"He had guts coming out of the belly," he wrote three weeks ago, without giving more details.

"When I'll talk about war the rest of my life, I'll talk about today (crazy day)," he wrote in February.

In a statement issued in Kandahar Monday, Brigadier-General Dean Milner, Canada's top soldier in Afghanistan, expressed condolences on behalf of the military, adding that "Canadians can be proud of the progress our soldiers have accomplished for the people of Kandahar province."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also voiced sympathy for the corporal's relatives and friends.

Nakhonay, a war-battered village of about 1,000 people, has been a hot spot in counterinsurgency efforts. At least five of the 17 Canadians killed in the past year in Afghanistan died in Nakhonay, and many others have been injured there.

Canada's 2,800 troops stationed in Kandahar will end combat operations by the end of July, but up to 950 troops and support staff will remain in Afghanistan on the training mission until 2014.

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Since the Canadian mission in Afghanistan began in 2002, the great majority of deaths have resulted from what are termed improvised explosive devices, which commonly take the form of bombs concealed beneath the surface of roads or hidden by other means.

Four Canadian civilians have also been killed: a diplomat, a reporter and two aid workers.

With files from The Canadian Press and Globe Staff

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About the Author

At The Globe and Mail since 1982, in assorted manifestations, chiefly crime reporter, foreign correspondent and member of the Editorial Board, Tim is now retired. More

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