Four Canadian soldiers from CFB Petawawa were killed and another eight injured in Afghanistan Friday in two separate improvised explosive attacks.

The dead have been identified as: Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli, 28, Cpl. Tyler Crooks, 24, Trooper Jack Bouthillier, 20, and Trooper Corey Joseph Hayes, 22.

Vernelli and Crooks died in an early morning blast at about 6:45 a.m. local time while on foot patrol in the Zhari district west of Kandahar. Another five Canadian soldiers were injured in that attack and a local interpreter was killed.

Bouthillier and Hayes were killed about two hours later when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb attack in the Shah Wali Kot district, about 20 kilometres northeast of Kandahar city. Three other Canadians were injured.

All the deaths occurred as the Canadians were taking part in a major operation attacking Taliban command centres and supply lines.

All the wounded soldiers were evacuated by helicopter and are listed in stable condition.

Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Vance, the commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, urged Canadians in a statement to not consider the deaths a failure of any particular person or the mission.

"Success in war is costly. We are determined to succeed so that Afghan lives improve, but the insurgents are equally determined to challenge and prevent Afghanistan from flourishing as the nation it so wants to be. Remember, the deaths of these superb Canadians occurred as Canadian Forces were bringing safety to those in peril. Today, they succeeded," he said.

Vance added that the soldiers died protecting the Afghan people.

Vernelli was described as an experienced and well-respected soldier. He is survived by his wife Marcie and six-month-old daughter Olivia.

In September the couple allowed CTV Ottawa to tell the story of how Olivia's birth was induced one week early so Vernelli could see her before deploying to Afghanistan. He and Marcie spoke daily online.

Vernelli's father Chuck says he and other family members are "really proud" of his son.

"Scott was proud to serve his country. It was an ambition he looked at with great pride and respect," he said Friday.

"He always knew the danger, but he also knew what it meant to the people he was helping.

"His main reason (to be in Afghanistan) was to help them achieve freedom and democracy. He was loved and respected by all his friends."

Crooks, who died on his 24th birthday, was described as a keen soldier, an excellent athlete who "would do anything for you without even being asked," Vance said. The Port Colborne, Ont. native was often was seen sitting with much higher ranked officers.

Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey, a friend of the family, said he was a "a young man who put his community and his country above himself."

Both Vernelli and Crooks were of November Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

Bouthillier was known for his sense of humour, Vance said, and practiced martial arts.

Hayes was a "proud and dedicated soldier . . . who stood up for what was right," Vance said.

Both Bouthillier and Hayes were of the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

The deaths bring the total number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 116.

With files from The Canadian Press