Taliban: Prince Harry has a mental problem
Prince Harry has incurred the wrath of critics both in Britain and abroad after describing how he killed insurgents in Afghanistan.
In a series of interviews to mark the end of his four-month tour, the Prince (28) said he had taken members of the Taliban "out of the game" during his posting in Helmand.
"Take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose," he said.
The Taliban labelled him a "coward" for speaking out only after he had left the country, claiming the third in line to the throne "has probably developed a mental problem" as a result of playing computer games.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said: "This statement is not even worth condemning. It is worse than that. To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone - especially a prince.
"It shows the lack of understanding, of knowledge. It shows they are unfamiliar with the situation and shows why they are losing."
He added that he did not believe Harry had even participated in the fighting.
"Maybe he has seen the mujahideen in a movie, but that's it," he said. "I think he has a mental problem, that's why he is saying it is a game. These kind of people live like diplomats in Afghanistan, they can't risk themselves by standing against the mujahideen."
Sharifullah Kamawal, a member of the Afghan parliament, said that Harry's comments could have a negative effect on relations between soldiers and locals.
"This makes the withdrawal process much faster, because for now half of the people say the foreign forces must stay for longer. But if they say these kind of things, then more people will want them to go home," he said.
In Britain, the Stop the War Coalition said his comments were "arrogant and insulting" and questioned how Prince Harry, who served as co-pilot in an Apache attack helicopter, knew the men he had killed were Taliban members.
"Many civilians have been killed by air strikes. This arrogant and insensitive attitude to killing Afghans, is hardly likely to win hearts and minds," said Lindsey German.
"Prince Harry returns to a life of idleness and luxury, unlike most soldiers who face unemployment, austerity and social problems."
CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: "After more than a decade of war, resulting in an unconscionable civilian death toll and a fractured country, it is unacceptable that the media only gives such high-profile coverage of this bloody and protracted conflict when it involves a member of the Royal Family.
"As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, we should be reflecting on the catastrophic impact of our military interventions in the Middle East."
(© Independent News Service)