Taliban Says Prince Harry Should Face War Crimes Trial After Admitting to Killing 25 in Afghanistan

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Britain's Prince Harry arrives with the HCR Battlegroup
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prince Harry should face justice for war crimes at an international court, the militant Taliban organization demanded following an admission in his leaked memoir that the British Royal killed 25 people during his time in the Afghanistan war.

Senior figures in the Sunni radical jihadist organisation have called for Prince Harry to face prosecution for potentially have committed war crimes after he brazenly admitted that he killed over two dozen people, whom the prince said he viewed as merely “chess pieces” to be taken off the board.

Harry served on the frontline in Afghanistan, where he undertook two tours of duty as an army officer, serving as a forward air controller, in which he helped coordinated strikes against the Taliban, and as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot-gunner. In his upcoming memoir, Spare, which leaked after it was put on sale early by bookshops in Spain, the prince claimed that he had killed 25 people during his second tour in 2012 in Afghanistan.

“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,” Harry wrote according to The Telegraph.

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

Responding to the leaked comments, the Taliban’s police spokesman in Kabul, Khalid Zadran said: “Prince Harry will always be remembered in Helmand – Afghans will never forget the killing of their innocent countrymen.

“The perpetrators of such crimes will one day be brought to the international court and criminals like Harry who proudly confess their crimes will be brought to the court table in front of the international community.”

“The cruel and barbaric actions of Harry and others aroused the Afghan population and led to an armed uprising against them. We call this kind of uprising holy jihad,” Zadran concluded.

Harry also drew the ire of the Taliban over his comments that he viewed those he killed as “chess pieces” that had to be taken off the board rather than people.

“Mr Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return,” senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani wrote on social media.

The revelations about his military service in the memoir have also been questioned by military figures in Britain, in light of the fact that they could incite violence against active duty soldiers or indeed against the prince, himself.

The former head of British forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp told Sky News that he felt Harry’s comments “were probably ill-judged for two reasons. One is his suggestion that he killed 25 people will have reincited those people who wish him harm.”

“The other problem I found with his comments was that he characterised the British Army basically as having trained him and other soldiers to see his enemy as less than human, just as chess pieces on a board to be swiped off, which is not the case. It’s the opposite of the case.”

Kemp said that such comments could “incite some people to attempt an attack on British soldiers anywhere in the world” and that the Taliban could now be “motivated to kill Harry”.

“Let’s hope they don’t succeed and I’m sure he’s got pretty good security, but that’s one problem.”

Also expressing regret at Harry’s comments was Colonel Tim Collins, a famous British commander of the Afghan war, who said —  the Evening Standard reports — that Harry’s tell-all position is “not how you behave in the Army; it’s not how we think”.

Saying that soldiers would see Harry’s comments as a betrayal, Collins continued: “Harry has now turned against the other family, the military, that once embraced him, having trashed his birth family… [Harry is] pursuing US identity politics and casting slurs or racism around where none exists”. In all, Colonel Collins said, the book amounted to nothing more than “a tragic money-making scam”.

So far, the Taliban leadership in Kabul have not commented on the prince.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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