Prince Harry’s comments about killing 25 Afghan “bad guys” draw ire

Prince Harry’s comments about killing 25 Afghan “bad guys” draw ire

  • Prince Harry’s comments about his time in Afghanistan in an upcoming book have drawn ire.
  • In the book, Harry said he killed 25 people in Afghanistan and was not embarrassed.
  • British veterans accused him of breaking military law and the Taliban beat him.

Former British royal family Prince Harry ruffled pens with light-hearted comments about the killing of dozens of people during his time in Afghanistan in a forthcoming memoir, prompting an outcry from the likes of the Taliban and members of the British armed forces.

In excerpts from his forthcoming memoir, Spare, reviewed by the Associated Press, the Duke of Sussex reveals details about his family and personal life, with a section focusing on his time in the British Royal Army in Afghanistan. Harry’s comments that he viewed the 25 people he killed as pieces of a chess game or “baddies eliminated before they could get to any goodies” were not well received, according to the Associated Press.

“It seemed important to me not to be afraid of that number. So my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but it doesn’t embarrass me either,” Harry wrote in the book, adding that he hadn’t thought about the deceased as people, and that he himself viewed footage to verify the number of deaths. He served as an air traffic controller from 2007 to 2008 and as an attack helicopter pilot from 2012 to 2013 during his two deployments to Afghanistan.

He also described his time in the military as the happiest time of his life, during which he got to be “one of the boys,” according to the AP. The comments drew the ire of British veterans, who largely felt Harry should not have shared his death toll publicly.

A representative for Prince Harry did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. The official release of the memoir is January 10, 2023.

Retired Colonel Richard Kemp told the BBC on Friday that the comments “do not reflect the way the British Army trains people” and that it was “an error of judgement” to share them. Kemp added that the information could be “valuable” to members of the Taliban. And retired Royal Navy Chris Parry told the AP the comments were “disgusting”.

Veterans who knew him shared the feeling that he broke the code.

“I don’t think it’s wise that he said that out loud,” said Ben McBean, a Royal Marines veteran who knew Harry, according to the AP. “He already has a target on his back, more than anyone else.”

The Taliban — the extremist group that has imposed regressive, ironclad rule on Afghanistan — also expressed outrage at the comments.

“Mr. Harry! Those you killed weren’t pawns, they were people; they had families waiting for their return,” Anas Haqqani, a senior Taliban leader, tgreeted on Friday.

Harry and Meghan Markle lost access to UK taxpayer-funded security when they left the royal family in 2020, and he has since sued the government for its unwillingness to provide him with security details on British territory.

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