US officials: 115 soldiers committed suicide last year

The number of US Army suicides increased again last year amid the most violent year yet in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. An Army official said Thursday that 115 troops committed suicide in 2007, an increase of almost 13 percent over the previous year's 102. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because a full report on the deaths was not being released until later Thursday. About a quarter of the deaths occurred in Iraq. The 115 confirmed deaths among active duty soldiers and National Guard and Reserve troops that had been activated was a lower number than previously feared. Preliminary figures released in January showed as many as 121 troops might have killed themselves, but a number of the deaths still were under investigation then and have been attributed since to other causes, the officials said. Suicides have been rising during the 5-year-old war in Iraq and nearly seven years of war in Afghanistan.