Prince Harry has been fighting in Afghanistan
Thursday 28 February 2008
Prince Harry has been fighting the Taliban on the front line in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today.
Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, who is head of the British Army, said he was disappointed the news had leaked.
In a statement, he said: "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us.
"This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.
"After a lengthy period of discussion between the MoD and the editors of regional, national and international media, the editors took the commendable attitude to restrain their coverage.
"I would like to thank them for that and I do appreciate that once the story was in the public domain, they had no choice but to follow suit.
"What the last two months have shown is that it is perfectly possible for Prince Harry to be employed just the same as other Army officers of his rank and experience.
"His conduct on operations in Afghanistan has been exemplary.
"He has been fully involved in operations and has run the same risks as everyone else in his battlegroup.
"In common with all of his generation in the Army today, he is a credit to the nation.
"In deciding to deploy him to Afghanistan, it was my judgment that with an understanding with the media not to broadcast his whereabouts, the risk in doing was manageable.
"Now that the story is in the public domain, the Chief of Defence Staff and I will take advice from the operational commanders about whether his deployment can continue.
"I now appeal to the media to restrain from attempting to report Prince Harry's every move and return to our understanding."
Watch Prince Harry on the frontline -
Footage courtesy of PA
After the disappointment over Iraq, when Harry was due to work as a Scimitar light tank troop leader, he retrained as a battlefield air controller known as a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) with a view to going to Afghanistan.
He flew out on December 14, two months into the current winter tour.
He spent several weeks working in Garmsir in the far south of Helmand Province, operating just 500m from front line Taliban positions.
He has since left Garmsir to work in another part of Helmand Province, details of which can not be reported for security reasons.
There is no immediate steer from the Ministry of Defence on the future of his deployment.
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