Prince Harry Acknowledges Killing Insurgents During Afghan Tour of Duty

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John Stillwell/Pool/REUTERS

Britain's Prince Harry scrambles to his Apache helicopter at Camp Bastion, southern Afghanistan in this photograph taken November 3, 2012, and released January 21, 2013.

Prince Harry is on his way back from a four-month deployment in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot, and has confirmed that he killed Taliban insurgents during his missions there, according to recently published interviews.

Captain Wales, as he is known in the Army, flew numerous missions in southern Afghanistan, including air support for allied troops and accompanying British and U.S.  helicopters on casualty evacuation missions.

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His first deployment five years ago, during which he was on the ground calling in air strikes on enemy positions, was cut short after a media blackout was accidentally breached by an Australian magazine. During his latest deployment, to the main British military base of Camp Bastion, he gave a series of interviews — details of which can only now be reported after a media embargo was lifted at the end of his tour.

In them, Harry admitted that he fired on enemy fighters:

“Take a life to save a life. That’s what we revolve around, I suppose.

“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.”

He spoke about how much he enjoyed his job as an Apache gunner and co-pilot, saying: “I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I’m probably quite useful.”

He insisted however that killing people was not the reason he wanted to become a helicopter pilot. Nevertheless, while the British tabloids were generally full of praise for Harry’s war exploits,other commentators were more critical of his latest candid admissions, with Piers Morgan accusing him on Twitter of bragging about his experiences on the front line.

Harry also described the difficulties of balancing his Army life in Afghanistan and his Royal life under the media spotlight back in England – where, reports the Daily Mail, his royal responsibilities are growing.

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Regarding last year’s scandal, when Prince Harry was pictured cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel room, he admitted he “let himself and his family down.” He felt he was badly treated by the press during that episode, however, stating his animosity towards certain sections of the British media.

Speaking about his family back in the U.K., Harry said he “can’t wait” to become an uncle and said he and his brother sometimes wish they could exchange jobs, with Prince William (who is barred from serving in a warzone) envying his younger brother’s front line adventures, while Harry envies William’s fulfilling job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot and soon-to-be family man back in Britain.

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