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Waleed Aly has incorrectly claimed hundreds of thousands of Australians have died in wars while reflecting on ANZAC Day.
The Project host was reporting about commemorations held across the nation on Monday as thousands gathered at dawn services to pay their respects to diggers past and present.
But opening the segment, he got his facts wrong – overstating the number of Australian service men and women who died in armed conflicts, which currently stands at 102,980.
‘Today we honour the hundreds of thousands of Australians who gave their lives in service to our country,’ Aly said.
Waleed Aly made a figure gaffe on The Project on Monday as he cited the number of Australians who have died fighting in wars
‘For the first time in three years, unrestricted crowds gathered at ANZAC Day services across the country.’
The gaffe comes just weeks after Aly slammed Labor Leader Anthony Albanese for being unable to recite economic data when asked by journalists during his election campaign trail.
Aly did not flinch after the blunder, and appeared unaware of the mistake as he smoothly continued the rest of his report.
It remains unclear whether Aly misspoke, misread the teleprompter, or whether other Channel 10 staff prepared the script.
Earlier this month, Aly blasted the opposition leader for failing to recall Australia’s unemployment rate during a press conference.
Speaking to Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Aly suggested Mr Albanese’s mistake might be ‘not an error or a failure of memory, but it might reveal a lack of competence’.
There have been 102,980 Australians lost in armed conflicts while serving the country. Pictured: A memorial plaque next to the site of a World War two aircraft crash that claimed the lives of 29 Australians
‘Perhaps it wasn’t a mistake – perhaps it was a lack of knowledge and perhaps it was a lack of knowledge about something that is really, really fundamental in the economy and should be the most basic fact that you would know if you’re going to launch a policy based on jobs,’ Aly said.
Monday marked the first full-scale ANZAC Day commemorations since 2019 after the Covid pandemic stymied the size of public gatherings.
Thousands paid their respect to service men and women at sombre services across the nation, including at Martin Place in Sydney, Currumbin on the Gold Coast and Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
After dawn services, Australians poured into pubs to have drinks with friends and to play two-up, a coin toss gambling game traditionally played on ANZAC Day.
Overseas, ANZAC services took place in Turkey, Thailand, India, Papua New Guinea and France.
AUSTRALIAN DEATHS AS A RESULT OF SERVICE
NUMBER OF DEATHS
New Zealand: 1860–61 Nil
Sudan: 1885 9
South Africa: 11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902 592
China: 6 August 1900 to 25 April 1901 6
First World War: 4 August 1914 to 31 March 1921 61,645
Second World War: 3 September 1939 to 30 June 1947 39,654
Australia: (North Queensland Coast, bomb and mine clearance) 1947–50 4
Japan: (British Commonwealth Occupation Force) 1947-52 29
Papua and New Guinea: 1947-75 13
Middle East: (UNTSO; Operation Paladin) 1948 1
Berlin Airlift: 1948-49 1
Malayan Emergency: 16 June 1948 to 31 July 1960 39
(United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan) 1948-85 1
Korean War: 27 June 1950 to 27 July 1953 340
Malta: 1952-55 3
Korean War: (Post-Armistice service – ceasefire monitoring) 1953-57 16
Southeast Asia: (SEATO) 1955-75 10
Indonesian Confrontation: 24 December 1962 to 11 August 1966 22
Malay Peninsula: 19 February 1964 to 11 August 1966 2
Vietnam War 3: August 1962 to 29 April 1975 521
Thailand: 25 June 1965 to 31 August 1968 2
Irian Jaya: (Operation Cenderawasih) 1976-81 1
Western Sahara: (MINURSO) 1991-94 1
Somalia: 20 October 1992 to 30 November 1994 1
Border Protection: 1997 – 3
Bougainville: 1997-2003 1
East Timor 16 September 1999 to 18 August 2003 2
East Timor (Operation Astute) 1999-2013 2
Afghanistan: 11 October 2001 to present 43
Iraq: 16 July 2003 to 14 December 2013 4
Solomon Island: (RAMSI – Operation Anode) 2003-13 1
Indonesia: (Operation Sumatra Assist) 2005 9
Fiji: 2006 2
Source: The Australian War Memorial