Suicides among US soldiers sent to Iraq swung back up last year after a decline, and Army officials said Tuesday it was difficult to interpret the development.
Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the Army surgeon general, said suicides climbed to a rate of 19.9 per 100,000 in 2005, just above the 18.8 rate of 2003. It had fallen to 10.5 in 2004.
The actual number of suicides in Iraq were 25 soldiers in 2003, 12 in 2004 and 22 in 2005.
"We consider one suicide to be too many," Kiley told Pentagon reporters in releasing a mental health survey, taken a year ago but made public Tuesday. It contains the most recent figures the military has made available.