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Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many children, up to the age of 14, have been injured in the military conflict in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [111189]

We have no means of verifying the number of children under 15 years of age injured during the conflict in Iraq. In carrying out attacks against Iraqi military objectives, all feasible precautions were taken to avoid, and in any event to minimise, incidental loss of civilian life or injury to civilians.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Defence Logistics Organisation was first notified to begin contingency plans for deployment in Operation Telic; and when it first began deploying equipment to the Gulf as part of Operation Telic. [112024]

Existing Ministry of Defence planning assumptions take account of a range of possible operational contingencies. On 24 September 2002 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear, in relation to events in Iraq, that alongside diplomacy there must be genuine preparedness and planning to take action if diplomacy fails. Staffs of the Defence Logistics Organisation were involved in contingency planning for potential operations in Iraq.The main deployment of equipment to the Gulf began on 15 January 2003, although some equipment and ammunition was pre-positioned in Cyprus slightly before this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Iraqi, (b) US, (c) British and (d) other (i) combatants and (ii) civilians have been killed as a result of military action in Iraq. [112346]

Thirty-five British servicemen have lost their lives to date in the course of operations in Iraq. In addition, we are aware only that two United Kingdom journalists lost their lives while reporting inside Iraq.The number of United States casualties is a matter for the US Government.We have no means of ascertaining the numbers of Iraqi military or civilian lives lost during the course of operations in Iraq, although we made every effort to keep any impact upon the Iraqi civilian population to an absolute minimum.