British troops suffer record casualties in Afghanistan 2009-07-30 23:37:27   Print

    LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- British troops in Afghanistan suffered their highest casualty rate this month since the conflict began in 2001, said the Ministry of Defense on Thursday.

    The Ministry reported 22 British soldiers were killed in July, while a total of 57 soldiers were injured in the first two weeks of the month, including nine who were "very seriously" wounded and seven who were "seriously" injured.

    Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense appealed in court against the size of compensation payments to two injured servicemen, sparking growing public anger.

    In response, British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: "As Defense Secretary, I cannot allow the situation to continue that leaves the public in any doubt over my or the government's commitment to our servicemen and women."

    "Therefore, in order to deal with this complex issue in the most sensitive, effective and fair way possible, I have ordered the planned review of the compensation scheme to be brought forward from next year."

    But he admitted that "the current scheme is not fully equipped to deal with anomalies, legal complexities and wider issues relating to how we compensate our servicemen and women."

    The ministry also announced that regular statistics of military patients will be published from Thursday.

    The statistics for the Royal Center for Defense Medicine and the Defense Medical Rehabilitation Center will be available online for the first time, according to the Defense Ministry.

    Ainsworth said the Defense Ministry was committed to being open about casualties.

    During the five-week mission in Afghanistan dubbed Panther's Claw, "we have seen a growing interest in our wounded personnel, which is why we have decided to start routinely publishing figures about military patients," he said.

Editor: Yan
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