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So my number is 25: Prince Harry reveals the number of Talibs he took out during his military deployment in Afghanistan

Prince Harry was on combat tour to Afghanistan on two occasions, as a Forward Air Controller in 2007 and as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner in 2012-13

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has courted controversy after he revealed in his upcoming memoir ‘Spare’ that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan while serving the British army.

As per reports, he had been on two missions to the war-torn country of Afghanistan and confessed to taking 25 lives of Taliban terrorists during his military service. According to his memoir, Prince Harry thought of the 25 targets as ‘chess pieces’ and not ‘people.’

The British royal claimed to feel no pride or shame for his actions. He also wrote that he watched every video of his ‘kill’ when he returned to his military base. Prince Harry reminisced that a video camera, which was mounted on his Apache helicopter, recorded his missions in full.

In his memoir, the Prince of Sussex pointed out that it is not possible to kill anybody if you think of them as a ‘person’ and thanked the British army for teaching him how to ‘otherise’ the Taliban radicals.

He wrote, “I made it my purpose, from day one, to never go to bed with any doubt whether I had done the right thing… whether I had shot at Taliban and only Taliban, without civilians in the vicinity.”

“I wanted to return to Great Britain with all my limbs, but more than that I wanted to get home with my conscience intact. So my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” Prince Harry emphasised.

He said that he felt no guilt for taking out 25 Talibs because he did not forget the horrors of the 9/11 attack and his personal meetings with family members of the victims. The British royal described the Taliban and its sympathisers as ‘enemies of humanity.’

Prince Harry was first deployed as a Forward Air Controller to Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2007, but he was recalled after his presence in the war-torn country was disclosed by media. Returning to the UK, he became a pilot by learning to Apache helicopters, and during 2011-12, was part of the Joint Aviation Group which provided helicopter support to the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan forces. He was known as Captain Wales in the military, and worked as a co-pilot and gunner during his four-month combat tour.

As his second stint in Afghanistan was not kept secret, the Taliban had made several attempts at his life. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had told Reuters in September 2011 that they were using all their strength to get rid of him, either by killing or kidnapping.

Camp Bastion, where Prince Harry was based, was attacked by the Taliban in September 2011, in which two US marines were killed. Harry was moved to a safer location after the attack.

After returning from Afghanistan, he had revealed that he had killed several terrorists in six missions that he flew, but at that time the number of kills was not revealed. Prince Harry had compared his missions to playing video games, saying it came naturally to him as he was accustomed to playing combat games on PlayStation and Xbox. “It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful,” he had said.

Prince Harry was responsible for firing the Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, rockets and 30mm gun on the Apache helicopter.

His combat tour to Afghanistan in 2012 started just weeks after he and an unknown woman were photographed naked in a Las Vegas hotel.

Taliban reacts to the revelations made in the memoir of Prince Harry

While reacting strongly to the development, Taliban leader Anas Haqqani tweeted, “Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return.”

He added, “Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes.”

“The truth is what you’ve said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that “game” of white & black “square,” he further claimed.

“I don’t expect that the ICC will summon you or the human rights activists will condemn you, because they are deaf and blind for you. But hopefully these atrocities will be remembered in the history of humanity,” Anas Haqqani concluded.

Experts say Prince Harry risked his life with his explosive revelations

Several political commentators had lashed out at Prince Harry for jeopardising his life by revealing the number of Talibs that he killed in Afghanistan.

“Harry’s claim that he killed 25 Taliban is a nightmare – an absolute nightmare – for his security teams. How stupid can you be?”, tweeted journalist Andrew Neil.

“Love you #PrinceHarry but you need to shut up! Makes you wonder the people he’s hanging around with. If it was good people somebody by now would have told him to stop,” remarked Royal marines veteran, Ben Mcbean.

It is notable that due to possible threats to soldiers and their families, USA, UK and other countries deploying their forces in the middle east to fight Islamist terrorists do not identify their soldiers. For example, the US Navy Seals that took out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan were never officially identified by the US govt.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
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