11,000 British soldiers have gone AWOL since Iraq war

More than 11,000 British soldiers have gone absent without leave (AWOL) since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph.

11,000 British soldiers have gone AWOL since Iraq war

More than 11,000 British soldiers have gone absent without leave (AWOL) since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph on Monday.

Although most of the missing soldiers have been caught or have returned of their own free will, nearly 1,000 currently remain on the run, the report said, according to figures from the British Ministry of Defence.

According to the report, the number of soldiers who remain AWOL from this year is 283, in addition to 279 from last year, 157 for the year before and 135 from 2004. And since 2000, the total number of Army personnel who remain AWOL stands at 947.

The military is now carrying out a study into why soldiers are going AWOL, said the report.

The MoD claimed that the rates of desertion had more to do with domestic problems than the war.

"There is no rise in the number of soldiers going Awol each year. On the contrary, the number of new cases has actually been declining over the past three years." said a spokesman for the MoD.

"There are many reasons why somebody could go AWOL. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most AWOL is caused by soldiers' domestic circumstances rather than wishing to avoid military service," he said.

Last Mod: 12 Haziran 2007, 12:19
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