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Afghan death rate for British troops tops height of Iraq

Afghanistan death rate for British troops tops height of Iraq fighting

British forces are now being killed in Afghanistan at a faster rate than at the height of the war in Iraq, experts have warned.

By John Bingham
Last Updated: 2:06PM BST 27 Aug 2008

Eight in every 1,000 UK servicemen and women sent to the country to fight the Taliban this summer has been killed after a sharp increase in roadside bomb attacks by insurgents in Helmand Province, analysis of casualty figures shows.

Following some of the bloodiest months since US-led coalition forces were first sent to Afghanistan in 2001, death rates among British troops are now exceeding those seen by their American counterparts in the country which stand at 6.6 per cent for every thousand.

And the total number of coalition deaths in Afghanistan, including American servicemen, has overtaken that in Iraq for the first time, a study shows.

Experts at the Medical Research Council (MRC), who conducted the research, said the soaring death rates might now be used to justify calls for a "surge" in Afghanistan similar to that seen in Iraq last year.

The record death tolls in Afghanistan came in stark contrast to the picture in Iraq where British forces have been experiencing the longest period without any fatalities since the since the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.
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