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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 17:09 GMT
UK Iraq injury figures revealed
John Reid
John Reid meets Fusilier Aveuta Tuila, wounded by a bomb in Basra
About 230 British troops have been injured in enemy action since the invasion of Iraq, Defence Secretary John Reid has revealed.

The figure comes on top of the 98 British servicemen and women killed in Iraq, two-thirds by enemy fire.

Up until now the government only confirmed the number of deaths in Iraq.

Mr Reid said he decided to release the injury figures after the wife of a badly wounded soldier called on ministers to be more open.

'No cover-up'

In all, just over 4,000 people, including Iraqis and British civilians as well as servicemen and women, have been evacuated back to the UK for medical treatment since the 2003 invasion.

IRAQ CASUALTIES
80,000 have served in Iraq
98 deaths
230 injured
40 seriously injured

The vast majority suffered illness or an accident while in Iraq.

Some of the 203 injured fighting insurgents were treated at the British base in Shaibah, south of Basra, while others were brought back to Britain.

Mr Reid decided to release the figures after Sue Norton, whose 43-year-old husband Peter lost an arm and a leg in a bomb blast, said ministers should reveal how many more had been injured like him.

Speaking on a visit to a military rehabilitation centre in Epsom, Surrey, Mr Reid insisted there had been "no cover-up".

Artificial limbs

Categorising the injured, wounded and sick was simply not a priority for forces in Iraq, he said.

"The important thing, actually, is not the 40 or the 230, the important thing is that every single one of them gets to be given the care they need," Mr Reid said.

"Facilities like this give them that," he added.

He said the "first class bravery" of those injured in action was being rewarded with "first class medical care".

And injured service people received the "best artificial limbs available - higher than the standard available in the National Health Service", Mr Reid added.



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