'Arrogant and insensitive': Stop the War Coalition attacks Prince Harry for admitting he has killed Taliban insurgents

The Taliban have also condemened the third in line for the throne, calling him a 'coward'

The Stop the War Coalition today accused Prince Harry of being “arrogant and insensitive” after he admitted killing insurgents in Afghanistan.

In a series of interviews to mark the end of his service in Afghanistan, Prince Harry admitted that he had killed members of the Taliban during his 20-week posting, saying: “'Take a life to save a life. That’s what we revolve around, I suppose”.

But Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, called the 28-year-old’s comments “crass”, and asked how he knew those he’d killed were actually members of the Taliban.

"In recent months many civilians have been killed by air strikes. This arrogant and insensitive attitude to killing Afghans, whoever they are, is hardly likely to win hearts and minds - a supposed aim of the war,” German said.

She added: “Prince Harry returns to a life of idleness and luxury, unlike most soldiers who face unemployment, austerity and social problems.”

The Stop the War Coalition is currently finalising details of events next month to mark the 10th anniversary of large protests against going to war in Iraq.

News that Prince Harry’s four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot had come to an end emerged yesterday evening.

In the interviews that accompanied the announcement, the third in line for the throne revealed intimate details of his life as a solider for the first time.

Asked if he had killed from the cockpit of his £40million aircraft he replied: “Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount.”

The Taliban have also attacked Prince Harry’s comments, branding him a “coward” and calling his description of life in the army an insult to the men who had fought and died alongside him.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said Prince Harry was a “coward” for only speaking after he had left Afghanistan.

“This statement is not even worth condemning. It is worse than that,” he told The Telegraph via telephone from an undisclosed location.

“To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone – especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things,” Mujahid said.

He added: “It shows the lack of understanding, of knowledge…It shows they are unfamiliar with the situation and shows why they are losing.”

Although his admission will almost certainly be used as ongoing propaganda by the Taliban, the Prince remained unapologetic about his duties as a soldier.

Prince Harry said: “Take a life to save a life, that’s what we revolve around. If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.”

He added: “I’m not here on a free pass...our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground and if that means shooting someone who is shooting them, then we will do it.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a senior Army source said: “Harry is flying an attack helicopter and that’s one of the jobs the guys do: Attack. It would be unthinkable for a gunner to go on a deployment and not have several engagements with the enemy. Of course he has killed.”

Prince Harry was given no special treatment in Afghanistan and worked, ate and slept in the same basic conditions as the other pilots.

He called the experience “as normal as it’s going to get”, adding: “I’m one of the guys, I don’t get treated any differently”.

Prince Harry’s first tour of duty was as a forward air commander on the ground in Afghanistan.

His deployment was cut short in 2008 however, after the news was leaked in the US and defence officials deemed his continued presence there to be a risk to his fellow soldiers.

Bitterly disappointed and desperate to return to the frontline, Prince Harry retrained as a helicopter pilot, which led to him piloting the Apache.

Apache helicopters carry a large weapons arsenal, including rockets, missiles and a 30mm cannon, and can fly at over 200mph.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Project Manager

£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer - Java

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning digital publishing solution...

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Financial Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness