Languages
Page last updated at 01:33 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 02:33 UK

US army suicides at record level

US soldiers in Iraq
About a quarter of the deaths occurred in Iraq

The US army has said the number of suicides in the military last year was the highest since records began, with 115 recorded.

The year saw increased violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and about a quarter of the suicides happened in Iraq.

The extension of deployments from 12 to 15 months added to the strain on soldiers serving abroad.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama called the figures a tragic reminder of the costs of the Iraq war.

The figure of 115 deaths in 2007 represents an increase of almost 13% over the number for 2006, an army source told the Associated Press.

A military official acknowledged that the wars were having an effect.

"Mainly it is the long time and multiple deployments away from home, the exposure to really terrifying and horrifying things, the easy availability of loaded weapons, and, of course, it's very, very busy right now," said Col Elspeth Ritchie.




SEE ALSO
US veterans sue over 'poor care'
21 Apr 08 |  Americas
Veterans 'quarter of US homeless'
08 Nov 07 |  Americas

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific