Canada has officially ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on Thursday, after nine years of fighting which. Nearly 3,000 Canadian soldiers, based mainly in Kandahar, have packed up and gone home. Canadian soldiers first deployed to Afghanistan in early 2002, several months after a US-led invasion of the country to oust the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In recent weeks they have been completing their final patrols, packing up dusty outposts and gathering at the giant Kandahar airfield military base to debrief before starting to catch their flights home.