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War fund launched for UK soldiers in Gulf

The families of British soldiers injured or killed while fighting the war in Iraq are set to receive financial compensation from a relief fund launched today.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2003 18:17 IST

The families of British soldiers injured or killed while fighting the war in Iraq are set to receive financial compensation from a relief fund launched on Friday.

The UK Forces Gulf Fund - officially recognised by Britain's defence ministry - aims to raise money through public donations to help bereaved relatives or injured troops in the weeks before their pension payments start.

Britain's "Operation Telic" saw the deployment of 45,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen, 120 tanks, a naval task force and 100-plus warplanes to join the US-led war in the Gulf.

"All armed forces personnel and accompanying civilians who suffer as a result (of) taking part in Operation Telic, and their respective dependants, may be eligible to apply for assistance from the fund," a press statement said.

While not linked to official compensation, the fund could also help to pay for state-of-the-art medical equipment, such as the latest models of hearing aids.

During the 1991 Gulf war a similar fund was set up, which raised three million pounds (€4.4 million, $4.7 million) through public donations, and a Falklands War fund raised £17 million.

First Published: Mar 28, 2003 18:17 IST