UK war cost in Iraq, Afghanistan to soar to 3.3 billion pounds

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London, Mar 11 : A parliamentary report has indicated that Britain's spending on Iraq and Afghanistan was more than three billion pounds (six billion dollars, 3.95 billion euros), voicing surprise at the increase.

The estimates revealed that UK spending in the past year has shot up by more than 50 per cent since the last figures three months ago.

Britain now looks set to spend around 1.6billion pounds in Iraq for the current financial year - and 1.7billion pounds more in Afghanistan.

The parliamentary committee has warned Army bean counters to get their sums right in future.

Defence Committee chairman James Arbuthnot said: "If we're reducing the number of troops, you would expect the costs to be reduced too."

"Few people will object to the investments being made in equipment for our troops. However, this estimate represents a lot of public money. The MoD needs to provide better information about what it is all being spent on," the Mirror quoted Arbuthnot, as saying.

The number of British troops in Iraq has fallen from 4,500 to 4,200 and will tumble to 2,500.

"This clearly shows how Iraq is continuing to bleed our finances dry," Lib Dem defence spokesman Nick Harvey, said.

The Tories said that the increased figures showed Labour had finally admitted the wars had previously been under funded.

Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox added, "Too many service members have been killed "due to a lack of equipment.

ANI

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