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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1449W—continued

Briefing Packs

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the briefing packs provided by his Department to (a) Mr. Bill Jeffrey CB, (b) Sir Peter Spencer KCB and (c) Lt. General Sir Robert Fulton KBE prior to their evidence session before the Public Accounts Committee on 1 February. [93055]

Derek Twigg: No. I have concluded that their disclosure would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs and would, or would be likely to, inhibit the free and frank provision of advice to Ministers and officials.

Captain Daniel Wright

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which recommendations from the report on the death of Captain Daniel Wright have been implemented. [100317]

Derek Twigg: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Casualty Statistics

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British personnel have been (a) killed and (b) wounded in (i) Afghanistan and (ii) Iraq since the commencement of hostilities. [100103]

Mr. Ingram: The best currently available centrally held records on the numbers of service personnel killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan are published on the Ministry of Defence website:

As at 7 November 2006, a total of 121 British armed forces personnel have died serving on Operation Telic since the start of the campaign in March 2003.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1450W

The method of reporting casualties was changed slightly at the end of 2005 so figures are quoted separately for before and after 1 January 2006:

For the period from March 2003 to 31 December 2005, centrally available remaining records show that some 230 UK military and civilian personnel were treated at UK medical facilities in Iraq for wounds received as a result of hostile action. These figures are derived from the best records currently held centrally but do not include those who may have been treated in the medical facilities of Coalition partners.

Separate records, from Notification of Casualty reporting (NOTICAS), show that some 40 UK military and civilian personnel have been categorised as Very Seriously Injured (VSI) from all causes, and that some 70 personnel have been categorised as Seriously Injured (SI) from all causes. These figures include personnel treated for wounds received as a result of hostile action.

Up to 4,000 UK military and civilian personnel (including a small number of Iraqis) have been medically evacuated from Iraq on medical grounds, whatever the reason.

The total number of UK military and civilian personnel who were treated at the Shaibah “Role 3” Field Hospital was 6,609. Of these 226 were categorised as Wounded in Action, including as a result of hostile action, and 6,383 were categorised as suffering Disease or Non-Battle Injury.

For the period from 1 January to 30 September 2006, centrally available records show that:

As at 7 November 2006, a total of 41 British forces personnel have died while serving in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001. Work is ongoing to ascertain whether casualty figures for Afghanistan pre-2006 are sufficiently robust to be published in alignment with those for Iraq.

For the period 1 January 2006 to 30 September 2006, centrally available records show that:

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have been
7 Nov 2006 : Column 1451W
(a) killed and (b) seriously wounded in action since May 1997. [91843]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 5 October 2006]: Between May 1997 and October 2006, a total of 114 UK armed forces personnel were killed in action during operations overseas. In addition, one serviceman is known to have died as a result of terrorist activities in Northern Ireland during this period.

The Ministry of Defence provides data on battle and non-battle casualties that have resulted from our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, dating from March 2003 for Iraq and January 2006 for Afghanistan. These statistics are published on the Defence website (every month, one month in arrears), along with those for all fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan which are updated shortly after they occur, and are available at:

Further work is being undertaken to collate and reconcile data relating to casualties which have occurred in Afghanistan before 1 January 2006.

For other medium-sized operations since May 1997, such as Sierra Leone and the Balkans, data on casualties have not been centrally compiled. We are exploring the feasibility off collating data for these deployments so they may be published. I will write to the right hon. and learned Member when work is complete, and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces have been wounded on operations in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq and (c) other theatres in each month since January 2005. [95285]

Derek Twigg: The best centrally held records, currently available, on the numbers of service personnel wounded on operations in Iraq since March 2003 and Afghanistan since January 2006 are published on the Ministry of Defence website (http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets). Work is ongoing to ascertain whether casualty data for Afghanistan pre-2006 is sufficiently robust to enable figures to be published in the same format as for Iraq.

For the period between 1 January 2006 and 30 September 2006:

The numbers of personnel SI or VSI from all causes excluding disease is broken down by month in table 1. The figures do not include personnel who subsequently died of their wounds. It is important to note that when the end of the reporting week rolls over into the next
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calendar month, the statistics for that week will not be reported until the end of the following month. This means that the statistics for August do not account for casualties sustained in the final week of the month—a period in which several UK soldiers were seriously injured in contacts with the Taliban. The statistics alling in to the reporting month of October are still being cross checked to ensure they are accurate, and will be published shortly.

Table 1: Number of SI and VSI Op. Herrick military and civilian casualties from all causes excluding disease (1 January 2006-30 September 2006)
Month Total

January 2006

0

February

0

March

0

April

3

May

0

June

3

July

3

August

4

September

10

Total

23


Between March 2003 and 31 December 2005, 230 UK military and civilian personnel were treated at UK medical facilities in Iraq for wounds received as a result of hostile action. These figures are derived from the best records currently held centrally but do not include those who may have been treated in the medical facilities of Coalition partners.

Separate records from the notification of casualty reporting system, for the same period in Iraq, show that some 40 UK military and civilian personnel were categorised as very seriously injured (VSI) from all causes, and that some 70 personnel were categorised as seriously injured (SI) from all causes including as a result of hostile action. Historic records do not contain sufficient data to allow us to break the figures down any further.

Since the beginning of 2006, we have sought to collect better information on those suffering wounds as a result of operations. Between 1 January and 30 September 2006:

The monthly breakdown for those SI and VSI from all causes excluding disease is given in table 2.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1453W
Table 2: Number of SI and VSI Op. Telic military and civilian casualties from all causes excluding disease (1 January 2006-30 September 2006)
Month Total

January 2006

2

February

0

March

1

April

1

May

1

June

1

July

2

August

1

September

1

Total

10


We are currently working to establish the feasibility of publishing statistics for casualties in other areas of deployment.

Cluster Munitions

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish information on cluster munitions stocks held by the UK. [94449]

Mr. Ingram: The information requested is as follows:

Cluster Munitions Variant

Army

Shell 155mm High Explosive Extended Range Bomlet Shell L120

Rocket Pod 298mm HE26 Multiple Launch Rocket System

Shell 155mm High Explosive M483 (out of service)

CRV7 C17/M261 Multi Purpose Sub Munition

RAF

BL755

IBL755 (out of service)

Radar BL755


Information on quantities of in service ammunition is operationally sensitive and as such is withheld as disclosure would not be in the national interest.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Westmoreland and Lonsdale (Tim Farron) of 30 October 2006, Official Report, column 11, on cluster munitions, what discussions he has had with the Israeli Government on its use of cluster munitions. [99417]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 6 November 2006]: In September of this year, we held discussions about unexploded ordnance with both the Government of Lebanon and the Government of Israel. We have called on the Government of Israel to make a public statement about their use of cluster munitions in the recent conflict with Lebanon and would expect them to investigate any well-founded allegations of misuse of munitions by its armed forces.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely failure rates of the CRV 7 Multi Purpose Sub-Munition. [83979]

Mr. Ingram: As part of the UK assessment of the CRV7 High Explosive Multi-Purpose Sub-Munition, a
7 Nov 2006 : Column 1454W
sample size of 36 rockets was fired at a variety of ranges and temperatures. These tests demonstrated a reliability of 94 per cent.


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