Increasing unrest

Both soldiers were members of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), in Afghanistan to help the country's government restore security in response to attacks by groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

About 2,800 Canadian troops are part of Isaf but are set to leave the country next year, following a decision by Ottawa's decision to remove virtually all its forces.

Isaf forces have stepped up attempts in the last year to weaken anti-government groups in the restive Kandahar province.

There is continuing political turmoil in Afghanistan, with parliament on Saturday rejecting more than half of President Hamid Karzai's nominees for cabinet posts. 

Elections last year were also disrupted by claims of corruption.

More than 110,000 international troops are in Afghanistan and will be augmented by another 40,000 soldiers during the coming year.

Foreign forces have been in the country since a US-led invasion in 2001 unseated from power the Taliban government, which was accused of providing a safe haven to al-Qaeda.