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24 Jul, 2009 08:47

US struggles to battle out of control army suicide rates

Eighty-eight servicemen in the US Army who were on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken their own life since the beginning of this year, which has surpassed the records set in 2008.

Soldiers between the age of 18 and 27 are falling victim to the psychological consequences of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of those who committed suicide made not just one but several tours to the battlefields of both conflicts.

July 2009 has become the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since 2001, and is also reflected in the number of suicides.

The US Army is now conducting a five year study with a hefty price of $50 million to understand why these suicides occur and what could be done to prevent them. Officials say that the study will focus primarily on soldiers, but it is hoped the results will help civilians as well.