Friday, January 21, 2011

'US Army Guards suicides doubled'

The US military says the suicide rate among the Army National Guard's personnel has significantly soared, blaming rising combat stress in Iraq and Afghanistan for the upward trend.

The number of suicides among National Guard soldiers, who were on inactive duty in a year when the Army was seeing a slight decline among active-duty soldiers, doubled in 2010 as compared to the previous year, AFP quoted the US Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli as saying without precise numbers on Wednesday.

The senior US military official said 156 active duty soldiers also killed themselves in 2010.

He further touched upon the upward trend in the suicide death rate among the US military personnel including civilians working for the Army, family members, and soldiers who were not on active duty, saying that-- on overall--343 individuals committed suicide last year, which is more than 69 compared to the previous rate in 2009.

The figures indicate that the number of suicides among soldiers who have never been deployed to conflict zones has sharply increased, generating deep skepticism over the real motive behind the suicides.


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