Canada's Harper visits Afghanistan

May 30, 2011 at 10:00 PM
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, May 30 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a surprise trip to Afghanistan Monday to visit with Canadian soldiers.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Harper traveled from Kandahar to a military base in Sperwan Ghar in Afghanistan's western region. He toured the Tarnak Farms area, where the first four Canadian casualties occurred in 2002 in a friendly fire incident. Once a Taliban stronghold, it is now a productive agricultural region that is benefiting from millions of dollars in Canadian aid, the CBC said.

"This country does not represent a geostrategic risk to the world. It is no longer a source of global terrorism," Harper said.

The prime minister attended a memorial service and laid a wreath to honor the 156 Canadian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan.

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