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Army's last major operation ends; commander says troops still face peril

File photo of a Canadian NATO soldier. GETTY IMAGES/AFP/Yuri Cortez.

The army has conducted its last full-scale combat operation in Kandahar, but the country’s battle group commander warns Canada’s war will not be over until all his troops are safely out of the field.

The operation, which took place in Panjwaii district over the last two weeks, was planned and led by the Afghan National Army, and meant to further disrupt the Taliban from conducting spring and summer attacks.

It involved over 3,000 Canadian, Afghan and American soldiers in the scorched farmland west of the provincial capital.

Lt.-Col. Michel-Henri St-Louis says it would be a mistake to think things have wound down because members of his Royal 22e Regiment battle group will still be patrolling and dealing with trouble spots, such as the high ground around Zangabad, until the formal withrdrawal in July.

St-Louis says the war has evolved to the point where the fight is more at the level of individual platoons dealing with nests of insurgents.

Troops participated in clearing operations throughout the region and Canadian commanders said it was significant that the Afghans led from start to finish.