Prince Harry tones down his remarks about killing Taliban
Prince offers 'more diplomatic' picture of his time in Afghanistan after 'take a life' furore
PRINCE HARRY has toned down his comments about killing Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, offering the rather more diplomatic response that he has "done things you would be expected to do" as a soldier serving in a combat zone.
In an interview he gave at Camp Bastion, where he was based during his recent 20-week tour of Afghanistan, the prince said he had fired upon and killed Taliban fighters from his Apache helicopter because sometimes you had to "take a life to save a life".
Some commentators said the remark was a simple statement of the truth, but others criticised it as insensitive - particularly his observation that his Playstation skills made him a more effective pilot and gunner.
The comments had made the prince a "prime target", experts told the Daily Mail. The paper reported that Scotland Yard was "reviewing their protection" of the prince in the wake of the comments.
The prince's words drew a direct response from the Taliban whose spokesman described Harry as a coward. "We have always wanted to capture or kill this prince, but he was mostly kept inside, safe, and in guarded places underground," the spokesman said.
Arriving back in the UK yesterday, Harry made no direct reference to killing Taliban and said his primary role was "supporting the Afghan people." He added: "You get asked to do things that you would expect to do wearing this uniform and that's as simple as that really."
The Daily Telegraph says the prince had "undoubtedly been briefed by St James's Palace aides to avoid the sort of headline-grabbing language which some Afghans said had handed a propaganda victory to the Taliban".
Harry, who said he enjoyed some "blue sky" and "a bit of comedy" during a stop-over in Cyprus on the trip back from Afghanistan, told reporters he was "longing" to spend some time with his family.