Afghanistan more dangerous for British soldiers than Iraq has ever been

August 27th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Aug 27 (ANI): Afghanistan is now more dangerous for British troops than Iraq has ever been, a new report has revealed.

It shows eight out of every 1,000 UK servicemen are being killed in NATOs mission to tame the Taliban in the Afghan badlands. That is more than the coalition death rate of 7.5 per 1,000 personnel during the worst of the fighting in Iraq.

In newly pacified Baghdad and Basra, the rate is now down to less than three per 1,000, The Sun reported.

Statistics revealed by the Medical Research Council also show that for the first time, coalition soldiers are suffering more deaths in Afghanistan than Iraq - 136 compared to 134 since May.

That is despite a force, which is only a fifth the size of the 160,000 stationed in Iraq.

The figures will make grim reading for British parents whose sons and daughters have been sent to the flashpoint Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, where deaths have rocketed since 2006.

The reports author Professor Sheila Bird said: The normal fatality rate for men aged between 16 to 24 in Britain is one per 1,000. If you are a soldier in Afghanistan, you are eight times more likely to die than if you are at home.

The statistics prove Afghanistan is consistently more dangerous than Iraq for British servicemen - not just now but even when combat was at its highest in Iraq.

The report also showed the Talibans hidden roadside bombs are by far the biggest threat to coalition troops. Blasts account for 60 per cent of deaths, with one fatal bomb every three days.

Canada, which has a much smaller force than Britains 8,000 troops in Helmand, is paying the highest price with 14 deaths per 1,000 servicemen. (ANI)

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