HC Deb 26 May 2004 vol 421 cc1696-7W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information he has received on the number of Iraqi civilians killed since the United States coalition forces began their attack on Falluja this month. [167610]

Mr. Ingram

I am aware of a number of organisations who have published their estimates of the numbers of Iraqi civilians killed since coalition operations began.

There is no reliable means of accurately ascertaining numbers of civilian fatalities. It is not always possible to confirm whether fatalities have occurred, as Iraqi injured or dead are sometimes removed from the scene of incidents by their compatriots. The Coalition always takes great care to minimise the risks to civilians. However, I cannot comment in detail as Fallujah is in the United States' area of operations.

Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes he plans to the number of British Forces in Iraq following the handover of power on 30 June 2004. [169387]

Mr. Hoon

We always keep the size and composition of forces in Iraq under close review. Along with our coalition partners we continue to consider the levels and dispositions of forces that may be appropriate for the period following 30 June. If any decision is taken significantly to alter the British military contribution I will inform the House in the normal way at the earliest opportunity.

Tom Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many(a) men and (b) women Iraqi prisoners were being held by UK military forces in Iraq on 10 May. [174355]

Mr. Ingram

Data on the number of detainees held by UK forces in Iraq is reported to the Permanent Joint Headquarters three times a week. The Ministry of Defence does not have a figure for the number of detainees held on 10 May 2004. We do have a figure for 11 May 2004 when UK forces held 118 internees. All were male.

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