Wednesday, 8 Feb 2023

Harry revealed Taliban kills ‘for own healing’ in new interview

Jeremy Vine breaks down Prince Harry’s popularity over time

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Prince Harry explained the reasons why he revealed his Taliban kill-count in a new interview. The Duke of Sussex claimed in his memoir to have killed 25 enemy soldiers during his two tours of Afghanistan – calling his victim “chess pieces”. Speaking to People, he speaks out about his time in Afghanistan for the first time, saying he needed to get it off his chest as part of “his own healing journey.”

The Duke of Sussex told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview: “I don’t know that you ever fully reconcile the painful elements of being at war.

“This is something each soldier has to confront, and in the nearly two decades of working alongside service personnel and veterans, I’ve listened to their stories and have shared mine.

“In these conversations, we often talk about the parts of our service that haunt us — the lives lost, the lives taken. But also the parts of our service that heal us and the lives we’ve saved.”

He continued: “It’s a duty, a job, and a service to our country — and having done two tours of duty in Afghanistan for my country, I’ve done all I could to be the best soldier I was trained to be.

“There’s truly no right or wrong way to try and navigate these feelings, but I know from my own healing journey that silence has been the least effective remedy. Expressing and detailing my experience is how I chose to deal with it, in the hopes it would help others.”

The Duke of Sussex revealed the death count in his hotly-anticipated memoir ‘Spare’, which hit bool shelves on Tuesday.

In the book, he said he did not think of them as “people”, but instead as “chess pieces” that had been taken off the board.

 

The Duke of Sussex carried out two tours in Afghanistan during his time in the military, including one tour between 2012 and 2013 during which he served as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot gunner.

The relative of a victim of a 2011 airstrike said to have been carried out by British forces, Mullah Abdullah, was among those saying Harry should be put on trial.

He told the AP news agency from the graveside of his dead father, who was among those killed: “We ask the international community to put this person (Prince Harry) on trial, and we should get compensation for our losses.

“We lost our house, our life, and family members, we lost our livelihood and also our loved ones.”

 

The Duke’s revelations also sparked security concerns, with high-profile British veterans criticising Harry for revealing the kill-count.

Anas Haqqani, an influential member of the Afghan government, said: “The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return. Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes.”

In his book, Harry writes that “in the era of Apaches and laptops” it was possible to establish “with exactness 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.”

In an interview with Forces News, the retired army veteran Col Tim Collins took issue with Harry’s comments: “Amongst his assertions is a claim that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan. That’s not how you behave in the army; it’s not how we think. He has badly let the side down. We don’t do notches on the rifle butt. We never did.”

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