Contractor deaths go unreported

From Editor & Publisher: Although the total number of American troops killed in Iraq is 397, as of Nov. 13, the overall American death count is higher. One group whose deaths often go unreported are independent contractors from American corporations working in the war-torn country. These fatalities, often from mines and ambushes, are rarely reported by newspapers and are not listed in the Pentagon’s official death toll. ……… As of Thursday afternoon, three employees of Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton and the largest military contractor in Iraq, have been killed in Iraq since the war began. The contractor deaths were the results of a vehicle accident, an anti-tank mine, and a gunshot wound. “On 10 July 2003 a KBR employee died as a result of injuries sustained in a single-vehicle accident near the city of Basra in southern Iraq,” Halliburton spokesperson Patrice Mingo told E&P Online via e-mail. The second KBR death occurred on Aug. 5 “as a result of injuries sustained when his truck hit an anti-tank mine,” Mingo said. The third KBR employee died on Sept. 3 after being “fatally shot in Baghdad while driving a vehicle that was escorted by military personnel.” The article notes that contractors might outnumber British troops, which would make the private sector the largest U.S. coalition partner.