05/27/2011 08:44 EDT | Updated 07/27/2011 05:12 EDT

Taliban Attacks Canadians At Afghanistan Ceremony

(CP) - The Taliban tried to crash a Canadian Forces party in Afghanistan on Friday.

The insurgents launched an attack on the ceremonial opening of a road in the heart of the dangerous Panjwaii district, punctuating a speech by Canadian Brig.-Gen. Dean Milner with a pair of explosions, followed by small-arms fire.

"Nothing like a few fireworks," Milner quipped before carrying on with his address.

Canadian and Afghan troops scrambled to reinforce the defences around the combat outpost, and a pair of American attack helicopters swooped in for additional support.

Canadian military officials, eager to showcase the road that has been built through an area dominated by the Taliban, brushed off the attack as nothing more than harassing fire.

Canadian troops, who have tried for years to clear the area of insurgent activity, are due to hand over responsibility for the area to the United States in the summer.