Canada worried about Afghan document leak

09:43, July 27, 2010      

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Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said on Monday that the leak of thousands of secret United States military and intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan could endanger the lives of Canadian soldiers based there.

Cannon told a news conference here that the federal government is obviously concerned about operational leaks on the Afghanistan mission.

But he would not comment directly on the leak over the weekend, saying it had "nothing to do with Canada."

Cannon made the remarks after announcing Canada is imposing fresh sanctions on Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.

"These are documents that are about leaked U.S. documents," he said. "You're not going to get an opinion from me on those documents."

The over-91,000 documents, released on Sunday by the website Wiki-leaks, reveal new details about the war in Afghanistan, including the close relationship of the Pakistani military with Afghan insurgents.

They also describe numerous accounts of brutality, corruption, extortion and kidnapping committed by members of the Afghan police force. Another revelation is that the Taliban used heat-seeking missiles to down a helicopter in 2007, possibly killing a Canadian soldier.

But Cannon dismissed claims that the government was misleading Canadians on the Afghanistan mission, saying it reports on a quarterly basis to a permanent parliamentary committee on the military mission in Afghanistan.

Cannon would not confirm or deny whether a heat-seeking missile was used in the 2007 attack, saying only that any incidents involving Canadian soldiers are investigated by the military.

The documents appear to cast shadows over the West's relationship with Pakistan, which receives more than 1 billion U.S. dollars annually from the United States to bolster its operations against the Taliban insurgency inside its borders.

But Cannon insisted Canada is "working in close cooperation" with the Pakistani and Afghan governments on a number of projects.

Source: Xinhua


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