Taliban criticise Prince Harry for remarks over Afghan killings
The Taliban slammed Prince Harry after the royal disclosed he killed 25 people on military duty in Afghanistan. The Taliban slammed Prince Harry after the royal disclosed he killed 25 people on military duty in Afghanistan and said it was like removing “chess pieces” from a board.
Harry’s highly personal book “Spare” went on sale in Spain days before its global launch on Jan 10. It discloses the depth of the rift between the prince and his brother William, the heir to the throne, and other revelations such as drug-taking and how he lost his virginity.
In one section, the 38-year-old recounts his two tours of Afghanistan, first as a forward air controller in 2007-08 and again in 2012, when he was a co-pilot gunner in Apache attack helicopters, and the number of people he had killed. “It wasn’t a statistic that filled me with pride but nor did it leave me ashamed,” Harry wrote, according to the Spanish version of the book. “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people.
“They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad people eliminated before they could kill Good people.” Senior Taliban figure Anas Haqqani criticized the Duke of Sussex for the comments, claiming that those Harry murdered were Afghans with families. ‘Mr. Harry!’ Asserting the prince of committing “war crimes,” Haqqani wrote, “The ones you slaughtered were not chess pieces; they were humans.”
“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’.” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson for the Taliban-led Afghan foreign affairs ministry, also criticized Harry’s comments.
“The western occupation of Afghanistan is truly an odious moment in human history and comments by Prince Harry is a microcosm of the trauma experienced by Afghans at the hands of occupation forces who murdered innocents without any accountability,” he said.
Harry served 10 years in the British military, rising to the rank of captain. He carried out two tours of duty against the Taliban, first as a forward air controller calling in air strikes in 2007 and 2008, and later flying an attack helicopter in 2012 and 2013.
Cameras mounted on the nose of his Apache helicopter enabled him to assess his missions and determine with certainty how many he had killed. After meeting the families of the victims, he used the memory of the 9/11 attacks in the United States to defend his conduct.
In the book, he said that those responsible and their supporters were “enemies of humanity” and that combating them was an act of retaliation for a crime against humanity. Since then, Harry has expressed worry about his security because of his royal prominence and his experience taking on radicals.