The US Army have said that 115 soldiers on active duty committed suicide in 2007, the most in one year since the service began keeping records in 1980. Nearly a thousand soldiers attempted suicide. The spike came in a year that saw the highest US casualties in Iraq and increased levels of violence in Afghanistan, but officials said the trend has continued into 2008. Barack Obama, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, called it "a tragic reminder of the staggering and ongoing costs of the Iraq war, particularly on our troops and their families." Army officials acknowledged that long and repeated combat deployments were a major source of stress in soldiers' lives, but they found no direct relationship between increased conflict and suicides. "In terms of this current conflict we see a lot of things going on in the war which do contribute," said Colonel Elspeth Ritchie.