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Afgh8n 'injury 'ollthreetime~

By Gethin Chamberlain yice- resident of the Royal StatisticalSociety Y~terday the MoD confirmed that casual-
has that the trUescale ofcasualtieS ties acl1nittedtofield.,medical facilities - units
A study submitted to the Ministry of Defence by has tieaUyunder~reported. staffed' by a doctor and nUrses-and later
the Royal Statistical Society has concluded that Patrick Mercer, the Tory spokesman for returned to the front were not counted as
the true scale of casualties has been bomelandsec 'ty, accused thegovemment of ~wounded in action~.
dramatically under-reported tfistprtingme e$\to w.ak.e.cIISoolty
levels "Tbe p~oplt)wedo not collate are those
appearmoreac tabletolhe public. who do notrleedto be admitted but are treat-

T HREE times as many British soldiers
have been wounded in action in
Afghan~stan as the government has
admitted, a report has concluded.
The govern~
a fli1~
charg~ . two
Io~ sRok~sr11~llfqr
Defence chiefs claim it is "too difficult" to
I keepa record of everysoldier' fighting :=~frago Inaj:
every military casualty is very carefully do
the TaIiban, resulting in troopS to the
frontafter being patched up by medics and then BnIS t hS cera tinkered within some way, then the gavel '

leftoff official lists. serving in Afghanistan,who asserted that the ed in the field and returned to duty," a
According to th ce "scaleof cas has not,peenproperlyreport" spokesman said, "To coUate the statistics for
(MoD),orily41 soldiein edatids requcing". everysingl~1admissiobwould be difficult and
actionin Afghanistan since the start of the That owedthe revelationin The Sunday' it also begs the question about where you
year,despite British forces being involved in Telemphin Augustthatthe MoDwasfailingto draw the line. It is very difficult often to say
whathas d as ~e wQrstfighti1!g
sincethe K
. . .
~ study submitted to the MoD by the . retary,thatthe publicwou
. ()rroerd~fencesec"'or it isa non-combatinjury."
1~~~~~~~Yfigut'~ tfespite . whether
be keptinfonned. sPlJIeoi)ehas
The latest beell injured
casualtyfigures in by
released action
!s higher than BtitalnldmitsMt
MoD list only four soldiers wounded in action killed since the start of the year and 128 HSt«! Afghanistan casualty figures for US and Canadian
in August, although it is un4erst()od a furtner as wounded in action. forces'and at Russian casualties from the 19808.
1Owert~ seriously injured in the lasffewdays A$imilW- di$pa,rify it) thec~sU;il(y figgres The ranoof irijuries to death for each of those
of the month - a period for wnich no official published by the two countries for operation$ annies 'varied between three to one and four to
figures are available. in Iraq proniptedaStudy in The Lancet earliel; one. If British:forces sustained casualties at a sim~
According to the MoD' $ pubJishedstatis-i this year, which conclud~dthat the number of iliar rate, the number of British soldiers wounded
tics, the 5,OOO-strongBritiSh force hlissrtf- British wQunded. there. \\I'asdlree tipIesltigM.. in action would be between 100 and 140.
than the MoD's Mr Mercer said: "To say we don't record
soldiers who are dealt with in the ,field is just
~s the governmentof distortingthe figures to figU~: . ' The nonsense. I can only ,assume it is to make the
Ible to the public
saying 'In my experience ~tkd £~c::£ casualty levels seem more acceptable.
t d an.d If..,thesei. fiIgures . Sheila Bint, Something odd is going on."
acumene are.belng vicefpresident.of

"In my experience every military casualty is
~rnment must explain what this is about
, ,
' . the..
...''.'.~o yal very carefully documented and if these figures are
being tinkered with .in'some way, tI1cn the gov-
fered 35 deaths since the start of this year, Society, who has noW carried out a similar ernment must explain what this is about." Two
with 41 injured in action, a ratio of, little study of operationsin Afghani$tan,anda cop>' weeks ago The Sunday Telegraph revealed how
more than one to one. oithe findings...hasbeen sent to the;MoD. soldiers were beffig treated alongside civilians on
In contrast, the UnitedStateshad a ratio of I'rof Bird, whoi$a1$othe s~nipristati$tiQjan mixed NHS (National Health Service) wards
one to three. with 278soldierskilledsince the for the MedicalR db Co she because the volume of casualties from
start of the \'ar in 2001 and 956 listed as believed that tile foti If" was Afghiuristan and Iraq had tendered the MoD's
wounded in action, whileCanada.had a ratio three timeshignerthanthe MoDcaimed polic~,of using designateq military wards "unsus-
of one to four, with 29 of its 2,500 soldiers She said .she had }ookedlit tecent . ,Ie". COUItTU'I' THE SUNDA'I'TELEGRAPH