14 Jul 2013

Troop suicide numbers higher than Afghan deaths

2:01 pm on 14 July 2013

More British soldiers and veterans took their own lives in 2012 than died fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the BBC's Panorama programme.

It says 21 serving soldiers killed themselves last year, along with 29 veterans.

The Afghanistan death toll was 44 - 40 of whom died in action.

Panorama said the figure of 21 was obtained through a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Defence.

Seven serving soldiers have been confirmed as having killed themselves last year. Inquests are pending for a further 14 deaths where suicide is suspected.

Panorama has independently established that at least 29 veterans took their own lives in 2012.

The BBC says every coroner in the country was asked for the names of soldiers and veterans who killed themselves last year. The programme also analysed newspaper reports of coroners' inquests.

The Ministry of Defence said every suicide was a "tragedy".