|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the Royal Navy sponsors applications from UK armed forces personnel from elsewhere in the Commonwealth who wish to apply for dual or full British citizenship. 
Mr. Ingram: As a result of an internal Royal Navy nationality survey, commenced in 2002, it was established that for some serving Commonwealth personnel there was a job-related requirement for dual or full British citizenship. In the interest of the service and of their careers, a small number of Commonwealth personnel opted to apply for either dual or full British citizenship. For a limited period only, and on a case by case basis, the Royal Navy is sponsoring these applications through an agreed fast track scheme with the Home Office.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the housing sold at the Defence Munitions Dean site were sold to the existing occupants; and how many tenants did not choose to buy. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the classification level is of reports from UK liaison officers to Eurocorps pertaining to the viability of UK co-operation with Eurocorps; and whether such reports will be accessible under Freedom of Information rules. 
The United Kingdom co-operates with Eurocorps as a NATO Graduated Readiness Force Headquarters which is offered to the Alliance by its sponsor nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain). Headquarters Eurocorps is currently in Afghanistan, providing the headquarters for the International Stabilisation and Assistance Force. The United Kingdom had a liaison team, led by a Colonel, with HQ Eurocorps from 2000 until March 2004, when the post was withdrawn following a review of our commitments to NATO HQs. The reports from liaison officers before that date vary in classification. All
27 Jan 2005 : Column 540W
recorded information held by MOD is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We would consider on a case by case basis any requests for such information to be disclosed under the Act.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish the estimates of Iraqi casualties contained in contact reports compiled by UK armed forces serving in Iraq since 20 March 2003. 
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish Iraq casualty estimates contained in British military contact reports filed since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. 
Mr. Ingram: Between 1 May 2003 and 26 November 2004, Significant Incident reports and Significant Action reports indicate that United Kingdom forces in Iraq encountered a number of Iraqi casualties. The figures drawn from those reports are not an accurate estimate of Iraqi casualties, either those caused by UK forces or those caused by insurgent activities, and should not be taken as such. They apply only to casualties which were witnessed or discovered by UK forces, and give no indication of casualties outside the UK's areas of operations in South East Iraq, although they also cover the Black Watch deployment to the North Babil area in November 2004. UK forces are not always present at all incidents which result in Iraqi civilian casualties, and following hostile contacts they are not always able to make an accurate count of Iraqi casualties, either because they have withdrawn from the area, or because such casualties have been removed.
These reports indicate that 200 Iraqis believed to have been enemy combatants have died, and 80 have been injured, in incidents where military force was deliberately applied by UK forces. Five Iraqis believed not to have been enemy combatants have died, and a further 13 have been injured, in incidents during the course of which military force was deliberately applied by UK forces. These figures do not necessarily indicate that UK forces caused the casualties, but merely that they recorded them during the course of incidents in which deliberate military force was applied.
Reports indicate that 17 Iraqis believed to have been enemy combatants have died, and 22 have been injured, during the course of other incidents, 144 Iraqis believed not to have been enemy combatants have died, and 192 have been injured, during the course of other incidents. This includes the full range of incidents in which UK forces have been involved, or to which UK forces have been called, but where no deliberate military force was applied. This includes improvised explosive device attacks by insurgent forces on civilian targets, road traffic accidents and in one case the discovery in May 2003 of a mass grave, thought to date back to 1991, containing 32 dead. Iraqi Security Force casualties are not included.
27 Jan 2005 : Column 541W
Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms the Government are using to assess their responsibility towards Iraqi civilians under the Geneva conventions in the absence of a reliable estimate of Iraqi casualties. 
Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom takes seriously its responsibilities and obligations under Geneva Conventions which identify civilians as protected persons". The Ministry of Defence has not previously published estimates of civilian casualties because there are no reliable means of producing such estimates. There is no specific requirement under the Geneva Conventions to produce estimates of civilian casualties.
We take great care to ensure that civilians are protected and that our obligations under the Geneva Conventions are met. All personnel serving in Iraq are fully briefed on the Law of Armed Conflict and appropriate measures are taken to avoid loss of civilian life or property. We always evaluate planned operations to ensure that they do not carry an unacceptable risk of causing unintended civilian casualties.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons statistics on the numbers of Armed Service Personnel injured in action in Iraq each month were not collected before August 2004. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 25 January 2005]: The Ministry of Defence statistics held centrally on personnel medically evacuated since the beginning of Operation Telic are not broken down into combat and non-combat injuries prior to August 2004. That information was only recorded by individual units, and it is not available in electronic format. The information that was collected centrally was clinical information, in the form of a database of all those medically evacuated, which does not provide a breakdown by cause.
Mr. Caplin [holding answer 21 January 2005]: Over the last 12 months, in Afghanistan one British soldier has been killed and 35 have been medically evacuated from theatre for health reasons (including injuries resulting from hostile action as well as from accidents, other incidents and illnesses).
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|