Canadian soldiers outside Kandahar Air Field in southern Afghanistan faced a rowdy crowd of local civilians Wednesday but the encounter had a happy outcome.
Dozens of Afghan children walked away from the meeting with soldiers carrying stuffed toys, new clothes and other Christmas gifts from Canada's Armed Forces.
Two military trucks pulled up just outside the main base at the airfield and soldiers were immediately surrounded by boys and girls of all ages. Troops handed down purple, white and lime-green teddy bears, bars of soap, sweaters and scarves.
Despite the bright winter sunshine, the warm clothing is essential, according to Canadian troops involved in the exercise.