Army reports big rise in suicides last month

By: By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer
By: By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army is reporting a stunning rise in suicides for last month - with the number likely to surpass combat deaths.

According to figures obtained by The Associated Press, there were 24 suspected suicides in January, compared with just four in January of 2008.

If all 24 are confirmed, that would be higher than the 16 combat deaths reported in all branches of the armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan last month.

Officials said Army leaders are alarmed by the monthly figure, and they took the unusual step of briefing congressional leaders on the information Thursday morning.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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