BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Sunday, 9 February, 2003, 13:33 GMT
Hundreds try to escape Iraq 'draft'
British armoured car being directed onto a ship in Emden
British armour is being sent from Germany
Hundreds of the reservists called up by the Army for possible military action against Iraq are attempting to avoid being drafted.

About 13% of the 3,300 called up so far have sought "adjudications" allowing them to avoid mobilisation, the Ministry of Defence confirmed.

Reasons for escaping duty can include illness or family situations such as the birth of a child.

It is not causing us to be overly concerned

MoD
A further 200 have not responded to their call-up papers, the Sunday Mirror reported.

Of the 1,100 who have so far reported for duty, 7% were failed for medical reasons, an MoD spokesman told BBC News Online.

He said it was impossible to compare the number to the first Gulf war, because a new system of calling up had been introduced, or the war in Afghanistan, when many fewer reservists were called up.

The total figure due to be called up is 6,000, allowing for exemptions.

The spokesman said: "A lot of people's circumstances may have changed.

"They might be in the middle of something like a house move or the birth of a child, or their health may be different.

"It is not causing us to be overly concerned. We expect a lot of people to put in for these exemptions."

'Deep trouble'

The spokesman said the jobs of those reservists called up were legally protected.

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Keetch told the Sunday Mirror: "This is very serious. The Army will be in deep trouble without enough reserve forces.

"The need for them underlines the extent to which our armed forces are overstretched."

Tony Blair's government are currently in the most critical stage of their battle to persuade the British public that military action against Iraq may be necessary.

Hundreds of thousands are expected in London on Saturday to march against war.


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

09 Feb 03 | Middle East
09 Feb 03 | Europe
08 Feb 03 | Europe
06 Feb 03 | Politics
06 Feb 03 | Politics
Internet links:


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

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes