Estimated 600 seriously wounded or killed since 2001
The Globe and Mail reports that the wounded rate for soldiers in Afghanistan has increased since last year. In fact, by the first of September, the number of wounded (108) had nearly matched the total for the whole of 2006 (115). Additionally, the Globe cites reports that numerous injuries have occurred since the 108 mark was reached.
Defence officials refused to explain the increase despite requests over a number of days for clarification.What's more, the article cites Esprit de Corps magazine's charge that official figures of wounded in Afghanistan are substantial understatements:
Although other countries are open about the number of wounded returning from the conflict, Canadian officials are tight lipped.
When injuries in incidents not directly related to the conflict - such as a truck rollover or an accidental discharge from a firearm - are taken into account, the magazine says the list of Canadians wounded or killed since 2001 tops 600.Afghan authorities still harassing journalists
In northern Afghanistan, authorities continue to hold a journalism student on charges of distributing anti-Islamic literature at a university. Authorities have released the brother of the accused who was briefly detained and who is a journalist working with IWPR. (See IWPR director Jean MacKenzie's article here.) The release came after international appeals by journalist associations, according to MacKenzie.
Last week in this space we excerpted the story of another IWPR journalist who was among several journalists detained by police (one overnight) following their tour into Taliban territory in Helmand province.