British soldier alleges casualty coverup

Sept. 22, 2006 at 7:30 AM
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LONDON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A British soldier in Afghanistan claimed the country has been concealing the true number of British soldiers wounded in the region.

Maj. Jon Swift, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers attached to 3 Para Battle Group in Afghanistan, said in a newsletter posted on the British Ministry of Defense Web site that soldiers were being treated and sent back to the front lines without official record of the injuries, The Times of London reported Friday.

"The scale of casualties has not been properly reported and shows no sign of reducing," he wrote in the posting, which has been removed. "Political and not military imperatives are being followed in the campaign."

The Ministry of Defense denied the claims, saying out-of-date casualty figures on its Web site were the result of a "glitch."

"There's no coverup on casualty or fatality figures," a Defense spokesman said. The spokesman also one of Swift's superior had spoken with him about the major's actions.

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