An increase in the number of deaths in the Defence Force is being put down to the changing security environment in Afghanistan.

There were 38 deaths between 2002 and 2012, caused by combat, accidents and suicide.

But when recent combat deaths from Afghanistan are taken out of the picture, there hasn't been any significant increase in those killed in the past six years, compared to those of the six years before that.

The Defence Force says combat deaths in Afghanistan are linked to the changing security situation there, especially the focus of insurgents in north-eastern Bamyan province.

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