Harper salutes departing troops; calls Kandahar Canada's 'great enterprise'

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Stephen Harper took one last tour of the wartorn Kandahar region today as Canada prepares leave its five-year war to begin training Afghan army and police.

Harper told hundreds of troops at Kandahar Airfield that the long, bloody fight to keep the region from slipping back into the grasp of the Taliban has been Canada's "great enterprise.''

And he suggested it was a successful one, saying the country is no longer a threat to the world.

Harper attempted to underscore that by visiting Tarnack Farms, a former agricultural project that later became a Taliban training centre and is now back in the hands of farmers.

It is also the site where the first Canadian soldiers to die in Afghanistan were killed by friendly fire in 2002.

The one-day visit also took the prime minister to a forward operating base, where he helped serve lunch, and then to a wreath-laying ceremony at an airfield memorial to Canadian dead.

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