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Taliban taunts ‘big mouth loser’ Prince Harry after he claims to have killed 25 in Afghanistan

The Duke of Sussex labels the killings ‘chess pieces removed from the board’ in his forthcoming memoir ‘Spare’

Eleanor Noyce
Friday 06 January 2023 19:22 GMT
Soldier who served in Afghanistan with Prince Harry criticises him for revealing Taliban kill count

The Taliban have criticised Prince Harry after he said he had killed 25 people in Afghanistan while serving in the military.

The Duke of Sussex said in his forthcoming memoir Spare that the killings were like “chess pieces removed from the board”, and that those he had killed were “bad people eliminated before they could kill good people”.

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

Prince Harry on patrol in Helmand province in 2008 (AFP/Getty)

The comments have been met with widespread criticism from members of the British military, with some warning that the duke has risked his own security and made himself a target.

And now the Taliban itself has issued a statement condemning the royal.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s foreign affairs ministry, said: “The western occupation of Afghanistan is truly an odious moment in human history, and comments by Prince Harry [are] a microcosm of the trauma experienced by Afghans at the hands of occupation forces, who murdered innocents without any accountability.”

Anas Haqqani, a Taliban leader in Afghanistan, also condemned Harry’s remarks via Twitter, but added that few who killed Afghans “have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes”.

Harry has raised concerns about his family’s security before, but has now been warned that he may have put it at risk (PA)

“The truth is what you’ve said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that ‘game’ of white & black ‘square’,” Mr Haqqani continued. “I don’t expect that the [International Criminal Court] will summon you or the human rights activists will condemn you, because they are deaf and blind for you. But hopefully these atrocities will be remembered in the history of humanity.”

Taliban commander Molavi Agha Gol went on to brand the Duke of Sussex a “big mouth loser who has been trying to get attention”.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August 2022 (AFP/Getty)

“I do not even believe what he said about the Mujaheddin,” the commander said. “He is a loser and scared to go to a combat zone. We made history by kicking him and his army out of our homeland and he should be very angry about that.

“Our martyred Mujaheddin are in heaven, but his invading friends are burning in hell and I really hope I was in Helmand when he was there, to make him understand what real chess pieces are,” he added.

Due for release on 10 January, the duke’s memoir details his six missions. In it he writes that, “in the era of Apaches and laptops”, he was able to say “with exactness” the number of insurgents he had killed.

Prince Harry served in the British army for 10 years, embarking on two tours of Afghanistan before taking up royal duties full-time in 2015. He was initially deployed to Helmand province as a forward air controller in 2007, returning in 2012.

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