An American soldier was taken into custody after shooting five fellow military personnel to death and wounding three others in Baghdad on Monday. The incident, which occurred at a combat stress center, marks the highest single-incident death toll for the U.S. military since April. Another American soldier was killed by a roadside bomb near Basra. These events take place just two months before U.S. troops are set to withdraw from Iraqi urban bases.
Stress is one of the biggest killers of US soldiers in Iraq. About a fifth of all US troops are thought to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, contributing to high divorce and suicide rates. An estimated one fifth of the 4,292 members of the US force [killed] in Iraq have died from non-combat causes, either in accidents or from suicide.
An estimated five soldiers in Iraq try to commit suicide each day. Between September last year and last month, more US troops, 72, died from accidents, illness or suicide than from combat, 67.