Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

When bad things get worse

All excerpts from a Guardian article on casualties in Iraq

Since May 1, when President George Bush declared the end of major combat operations, 52 American soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, according to Pentagon figures quoted in almost all the war coverage

The number of American combat deaths since the start of the war is 166 - 19 more than the death toll in the first Gulf war.

In fact, the total death toll this time is 248 - including accidents and suicides

The Pentagon figure for "wounded in action" in Iraq is 827, but here again the total number of injuries appears to be much higher.

The estimate given by central command in Qatar is 926, but according to Lieutenant-Colonel Allen DeLane, who is in charge of the airlift of the wounded into Andrews air base, that too is understated.

"When the facility where I'm at started absorbing the people coming back from theatre [in April], those numbers went up significantly - I'd say over 1,200," Col DeLane said.

"That number even went up higher in the month of May, to about 1,500, and continues to increase."

Plus there's news that Powell may be leaving Washington no matter who wins the election.