Thursday, 24 December 2009
The 30-year-old soldier was the first Canadian to die in almost two months. An Afghan soldier died in the same blast.
An interpreter was seriously injured.
Lt. Nuttall,of Prince Rupert, B.C., belonged to the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry based in Edmonton.
"Andrew came to Afghanistan because he honestly thought he could make a difference to the people of Afghanistan," said Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard, commander of coalition forces in Kandahar province.
"He wanted to lead from the front and set the example, attributes he passionately displayed every time he was in front of his platoon."
Brig.-Gen. Menard described Nuttall as generous, someone who always had a smile on his face and "greeted everyone he met with enthusiasm and goodwill."
Lt. Nuttall is the first soldier to die in action since Menard took over as top commander in Kandahar province.
Since April 2007, 66 of the 89 Canadian deaths in Afghanistan have been the result of improvised explosive devices.
With the relative quiet of the post-summer ebb in violence, Canadian soldiers, reinforced by hundreds of fresh American troops, have been working to establish secure areas in the Kandahar city area.
The aim is to establish a "ring of stability" around the city before the increased fighting which traditionally begins in the spring – known as "fighting season."
Nakhoney, about 25 kilometres southwest of Kandahar City, one part of the Panjwaii triangle, has been an area in which Canadian forces have frequently encountered problems.
In July Canadian and Afghan soldiers uncovered four factories used by the Taliban to make IEDs. They also seized suicide-bomber vests, large quantities of explosive materials and weapons.
Menard recently cited Nakhoney as an example where the reinforced Canadian forces were having an impact in providing security for local Afghans.
At the time of his death on Dec. 23, Nuttall was searching for Taliban transit routes, Menard said.
"His patrol was part of our efforts to protect the people of the village from insurgents."
Nuttall is survived by his mother Jane and father Richard.
Under Menard's new strategy, soldiers are moving out of their relatively safe operating bases to move into platoon houses in the community.
Posted by Cramahe Now at 09:30