WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom has passed 9,000, according to new Pentagon data.
In addition to the 397 service members who have died and the 1,967 wounded, 6,861 troops were medically evacuated for non-combat conditions between March 19 and Oct. 30, the Army Surgeon General's office told United Press International Thursday.
That brings total casualties among all services to more than 9,200, and represents an increase of nearly 3,000 non-combat medical evacuations reported since the first week of October. The Army offered no immediate explanation for the increase.
The U.S. military considers casualties as troops killed, wounded or evacuated due to injury or illness.
A leading veterans' advocate expressed concern. "We are shocked at the dramatic increase in casualties," said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center.