Prince Harry admits killing 25 Afghans

Prince Harry. Editorial credit: LINGTREN.COM /

Prince Harry has acknowledged killing 25 Afghans during his time as a helicopter pilot in the Nato-led occupation of Afghanistan.

In his soon-to-be-published autobiography Spare, extracts of which have been leaked, Prince Harry said he did not think of the Taliban he killed as “people” but instead as “chess pieces” that had been taken off the board.

He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, first as a forward air controller calling in airstrikes in Helmand province in 2007-2008, then flying the attack helicopter in 2012-2013.

As a gunner in Apache attack helicopters, the prince, who was then 28, flew on scores of missions.

The Telegraph revealed that the prince wrote that flying six missions during his second tour of duty on the front line resulted in “the taking of human lives” of which he was neither proud nor ashamed.

Describing watching a video of each “kill” when he returned to base, he wrote of Taliban fighters as “baddies” who were being eliminated before they could kill “goodies.”

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

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The UK invaded Afghanistan in 2001 two months after the 9/11 attacks as part of a US-led coalition.

The Western invasion force accused the Taliban of harbouring Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and soon toppled the Taliban-ruled Islamic Emirate.

Over the next 20 years the U.S.-led coalition occupied Afghanistan until the Taliban took back power in 2021.

Overall, the war resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 people. By the time the Taliban returned to power, 2.6 million Afghans were refugees, while another four million were internally displaced.


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