In the Name of Peace?
Posted by cotojo on June 7, 2007
The British death toll in Iraq reached 150 when a soldier was shot during a patrol in Basra, the Ministry of Defence said.
The soldier, from the 4th Battalion The Rifles, was part of a patrol conducting a search and detention operation in the Al Atiyah district, north west of Basra City, when he was shot by small arms fire, the MoD said.
The soldier is the 150th British forces fatality since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Three other coalition troops were injured during the operation but they are not believed to be in a life-threatening condition.
Separately, a British soldier killed in action in Afghanistan was named by the Ministry of Defence as Lance Corporal Paul Sandford, a member of the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.
He was shot during an operation to clear a Taliban compound in the Upper Gereshk Valley in Helmand Province early on Wednesday morning.
He was taken to a Nato base before being airlifted for medical treatment to Camp Bastion where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
L/Cpl Sandford, 23, from London, who married his wife Gaynor less just a year ago, is the 59th member of the British Forces to die in Afghanistan since the start of operations in November 2001.
The figure of 150 includes 116 killed in action and 34 others whose deaths were accidents or linked to natural causes, illness, remain unexplained, or are still under investigation.
But it falls far short of the number of US servicemen and women killed in the region since the start of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” – 3,487.
The number of Iraqi civilians killed by violence in the country since the 2003 invasion stands at between 64,879 and 71,042, according to estimates from Iraq Body Count.
How many more before the troops are finally brought home? They are fighting an invisible enemy, they are poorly equipped, yet they are prepared to put their lives on the line……for what?