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Iraq and Afghanistan: Casualties

Volume 698: debated on Monday 4 February 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Des Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Following a review of published operational casualty data to align current and historical methods of statistical recording, the number of casualties categorised as seriously injured (SI) (excluding natural cause) on Operation Herrick for 2006 has increased by one from 12 to 13. The number of Operation Telic casualties categorised as SI (excluding natural cause) for 2006 has increased by two from 19 to 21. There have been no changes to the number of very seriously injured (VSI) casualties in either operation. These changes bring the total number of SI casualties (excluding natural cause) for Op Herrick to 57 and Op Telic to 144 up to 31 December 2007.

The statistics on casualty severity which are published on the MoD internet site exclude those individuals whose condition was recorded as due to a natural cause. In a very small number of cases, however, it is not possible to confirm whether individuals are suffering from injury or disease. When casualty reporting on the MoD internet site was first established in early 2006, cases where there was uncertainty over the cause were excluded from the published statistics. However, during an exercise last year to validate and publish retrospective data for the period 2001 to 2005 for the first time, it was decided that such cases, where there is uncertainty over the cause, should be included. This ensures that all those who have suffered an injury are reported. To ensure consistency of the statistical approach, we have now added such cases into the published statistics for January 2006 onwards.

These revised statistics supersede information previously released by the department into the public domain.

The revised data have now been published on the MoD website at Casualties.htm and BritishCasualties.htm.