12 Jun 2006

Concern about increasing number of Fijian deaths in Iraq

11:43 am on 12 June 2006

The Fiji government and the Methodist Church have expressed serious concern about the rising number of deaths of Fijians employed as security guards in Iraq.

11 Fijians have died in insurgent attacks in Iraq in two months alone, with three killed in a roadside bomb blast only last Thursday.

The Sunday Times quotes the minister for home affairs, Josefa Vosanibola, as saying that the government is concerned about the deaths but the men themselves should be cautious about going when they know the situation in Iraq.

Mr Vosanibola says he is not trying to discourage the men from going to Iraq but the importance of life should be placed before money.

The general secretary of the Methodist church, the Rev Ame Tugaue, has questioned the purpose of going to Iraq to earn money when people lose their lives.