Author Topic: Costs of War: North-East Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq - Sunday Sun report  (Read 1427 times)

Phil Talbot

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http://www.sundaysun.co.uk/news/north-east-news/2009/01/04/north-east-bears-the-brunt-of-war-deaths-79310-22600474/

North East bears the brunt of war deaths

Jan 4 2009 by Phil Doherty, Sunday Sun

THE North has paid a heavy price for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, suffering more deaths per head of population than anywhere else in the country.

According to Ministry of Defence figures there have been 316 fatalities in the two conflicts, of which 34 involved troops from the region.

That equates to nearly 11 per cent of the death toll in a population that makes up just six per cent of the entire country.

Families who have lost loved ones in the wars are divided as to whether the cost in lives has been worth it.

John Miller, father of Simon Miller, one of six Royal Military Police personnel killed in Iraq in 2003, said: Im shocked at the level of casualties from the region.

It looks like our region is bearing the brunt of it. Lives are being ruined for nothing and its not been worth one life. The soldiers signed up to protect Queen and country and not some foreign land like Iraq or Afghanistan.

The latest soldier to be killed was sergeant Chris Reed of the 6th Battalion, The Rifles, who was blown up by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on New Years day. He came from Plymouth and planned to marry after his tour of duty..

His death was the first casualty of 2009 and follows a year in which Britain lost 51 troops in Afghanistan.

However, John Hyde, whose son Ben Hyde died alongside Simon Miller, believes the sacrifices made have been worth it.

He said: Im very proud of what Ben and his colleagues have achieved. That Britain will pull its troops out of Iraq by March and the Americans have handed security of the Green Zone to the Iraqi security forces shows there has been significant improvement in the security in the country.

We have stabilised the country, although it was never going to be easy.

I would like to see a peaceful and democratic Iraq because that would be a fitting memorial for all those who have lost their lives.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 08:11:44 PM by nestopwar »