Prince Harry claims 25 Taliban killed in his Afghanistan operations

Former Apache pilot says 'everything I did in the course of two tours of duty was recorded and time-stamped'

This picture taken on November 3, 2012 shows Britain's Prince Harry (R) running out of the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots at the British controlled flight-line at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, where he was serving as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps. Britain's Prince Harry confirmed he killed Taliban fighters during his stint as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan, it can be reported after he completed his tour of duty on January 21, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / JOHN STILLWELL (Photo by JOHN STILLWELL / POOL / AFP)
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Britain's Prince Harry has written about killing 25 Taliban during his deployment to Afghanistan, saying he watched video footage of operations to tally the number.

In his memoir, Spare, the second-born son of King Charles makes the rare revelation of his battlefield exploits.

While he was a serving as an Apache helicopter pilot, Prince Harry was sent to Helmand province in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the US.

The tally is not something that haunts him after Army life.

Prince Harry writes in his memoir that most soldiers don't know exactly how many kills they have to their credit.

"Under battle conditions, you often fire indiscriminately," he says.

But “in the era of Apaches and laptops”, he was able to say “exactly how many enemy combatants I had killed. And it seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number.

“So my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me.”

The Prince spent 10 years in the Army, including two front-line tours to Afghanistan.

"Naturally, I would have preferred not to have that figure on my military resume, or in my head, but I would also have preferred to live in a world without the Taliban, a world without war," he writes, of the killings.

"However, even for a casual practitioner of wishful thinking like myself, there are realities that cannot be changed."

“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."

The decorated veteran who is patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, which supports veterans' recovery through sports competitions, said the Armed Forces conditioned him for this aspect of conflict.

“I wanted to return to Great Britain with all my limbs, but more than that I wanted to get home with my conscience intact,” he said.

The Army had “trained me to ‘other’ them – and they had trained me well”, so those he aimed at were to him "baddies eliminated before they could kill goodies".

After his marriage to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, the Prince became alienated from his closest family, stepped away from royal duties and now lives in California. He has lucrative TV deals and a book, telling all about his former life.

Updated: January 05, 2023, 10:56 PM
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