The roadside bomb exploded in the Sangeen district of Helmand province in the south of the country and, according to Canadian military officials, struck a vehicle belonging to a reconstruction team.

Lieutenant Mark McIntyre said: "Two Canadian soldiers have been slightly wounded in Helmand province today when their Bison armoured vehicle was hit by an  explosion."

A spokesman, saying he represented the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack in a call to AFP news agency.

Canada has 2,300 soldiers in southern Afghanistan and took  command in February of a multinational force fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda members.

Eleven Canadian soldiers and one diplomat have died in  Afghanistan since 2002.

Elsewhere in the eastern province of Nangarha a militant stepped out of a vehicle in the Batikot district and prepared to throw a grenade at a passing military convoy according to Ghafur Khan, a spokesman for the local police.

Coalition soldiers fired at the man, killing him before he could throw the grenade, which then exploded, Khan said.