President Bush says all Americans are deeply saddened by the deaths of four Canadian soldiers killed by a U.S. bomb during a training exercise in Afghanistan. Mr. Bush is promising a timely and thorough investigation.
They were the first Canadians to die in combat in the service of their country since the Korean War five decades ago.
The five solders were killed when a U.S. fighter plane mistakenly dropped a bomb on them during a live-fire training exercise near Kandahar.
In a written statement, President Bush referred to the five as "Canada's fallen heroes." He said Canada is shouldering great burdens in the war on terrorism and making tremendous sacrifices.
The president called Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien shortly after word of the accident reached Washington. Mr. Bush said he told the prime minister that the United States will work with Canada to determine exactly how the tragedy occurred. He said they will draw every possible lesson from what happened to better protect coalition forces.