Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, August 26, 2006

US Army reviewing combat deaths

The US Army is to conduct a review of several hundred deaths of its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The move comes in response to complaints from families of those who died that they have not always been given accurate information.

In one high-profile case, the family of former American football star Pat Tillman were told he had been killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan.

Corp Tillman died in friendly fire but the truth took five weeks to emerge.

The review will compare initial reports of casualties since 2001 with the results of follow-up investigations to check for discrepancies.

A spokesman for the US Army, Brig General Anthony Cucolo, described the review as rigorous and routine.

Around 2,000 US Army soldiers, not including marines, have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'Positive move'

Corp Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, called the review a positive move but said the army must follow up and deliver any new information to surviving family members.

"People will be able to come to terms with the truth but if you were lied to once, then you're always going to be distrustful," she told The Associated Press said in a telephone interview.

A spokesman for the US Marine Corps, Lt Col Scott Fazekas, said he was not aware of any similar review by the marines.

The review has been quietly under way for more than two months, but the directive has not yet been sent to units in the field, the Associated Press reported.

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