An Edmonton-based soldier described as a role model to Afghan troops in the country’s Zhari District was killed on the weekend after falling 20 metres down a well while on night patrol.

Capt. Jonathan (Jon) Sutherland Snyder was a member of the First Battalion with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based at the Edmonton Garrison.

The Penticton, B.C.-raised soldier was on his second tour duty in Afghanistan and it was his third mission overseas.


“Jon was serving as a mentor and role model to members of the Afghan National Army, and his leadership in the field likely saved both Canadian and Afghan lives,” said Brig-Gen. Denis Thompson in a statement.
“We will not forget his sacrifice as we continue our mission to bring peace and stability to citizens of Afghanistan.”

Snyder was going to get married after his mission. He also leaves behind his parents.

After members of Snyder’s patrol were unsuccessful in getting him out of the well on Saturday night, medical, search and engineering teams used a helicopter to lift him out, said the Department of National Defence.

Snyder was rushed to a military hospital at Kandahar airfield, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The wells, also known to Afghan people as “kariz,” litter the Zhari district and Thompson said the wells are often unmarked and are all connected to an underground irrigation system.

The last Alberta-based soldier to die in the war-torn country was 36-year-old Cpl. Michael Starker who was killed during an insurgent attack in the Zharey District.

Meanwhile, An Afghan journalist who was working for the BBC World Service was also killed yesterday after his body was found in southern Afghanistan with a gunshot wound to his head.

Abdul Samad Rohani is the fourth journalist killed in the war-torn country in the past year.

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