Canada's top commander in Afghanistan has been sacked amid allegations of "inappropriate conduct" with a female aide, breaking strict military rules and losing the confidence of his bosses.
Brigadier-General Daniel Menard, a rising star in the Canadian army, was dismissed just days after a separate incident in which he was fined $3,500 for accidentally discharging his rifle as he boarded a helicopter.
"I am not happy to bring you this news," Mr Menard's second-in- command Colonel Simon Hetherington told reporters in Afghanistan. "It is what it is."
Canadian television reported that Mr Menard had had an affair, breaking standing orders for the Canadian military stipulating that "Sexual activity or any other form of intimate contact in any context with another individual is prohibited anywhere in the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Area of Operations." A statement on the Canadian defence department's website said an investigation was underway to ascertain whether Mr Menard had breached "Canadian Forces' Personal Relationships and Fraternisation" directives.
Col Hetherington will take charge of Canada's 2,800 soldiers in Afghanistan until Brigadier-General Jon Vance, who led the Canadian mission before Menard, can be rushed out to replace him. He will take the reins until September.
Last week Mr Menard pleaded guilty to negligently discharging his rifle as he and his boss, chief of defence staff General Walt Natynczyk, prepared to board a Blackhawk helicopter. …