Monday, 26 May 2008

Soviet landmines invalidate injury compensation claims

Troops injured in Afghanistan are being refused compensation because their injuries were caused by the 'wrong type of bomb' - so claims an article in yesterday's Guardian.
If a soldier is injured by a landmine left behind by the Soviet Army - and there are thought to be 10 million of these lying around Afghanistan following the Soviets' war against the Taliban - then he may well not be eligible to receive damages under the MoD's criminal injuries scheme.
Although this scheme should pay out for injuries resulting from ordnance not deployed against British forces, the MoD has been rejecting such claims as their investigations indicated the explosives were deliberately planted by the enemy to target British troops. To make matters worse troops rejected from the criminal injuries scheme are now no longer eligible for a payout from the Armed Forces injury compensation scheme. Lawyers are suggesting that this Catch-22 situation means that there are injured servicemen who are not receiving their rightful compensation.
Since the Soviet engagement in Afghanistan ended in 1989, it would take an incredible stretch of the imagination to believe they left their landmines to target British troops who didn't arrive on the scene until over a decade later.