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Soldier dies

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—A Canadian soldier who was injured during a previous tour of duty has been found dead in Afghanistan.

Maj. Michelle Mendes, based in Ottawa, was found dead in her room at the Kandahar Airfield yesterday afternoon, the Canadian Forces said in a statement early today.

Mendes, 30, is the third female soldier to die during the Afghan mission—and the second this month.

The statement said the incident was under investigation, although enemy action had been ruled out as a cause of death.

No further details were available.

Kandahar Airfield serves as the base for most of the 2,700 Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Mendes was with Joint Task Force Kandahar headquarters.

The military said Mendes’ family was not commenting at this time.

The death was the first Canadian loss of life since April 14, when 21-year-old Trooper Karine Blais, who served with the Royal 22nd Regiment based at CFB Valcartier, near Quebec City, was killed in a roadside bomb blast.

The latest death brings to 118 the total number of Canadian soldiers who have died in the Afghan mission since it began in 2002

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