Prince Harry's wartime role draws fears over reprisals fears

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 9:03 p.m. MST

In this photo taken Dec. 12, 2012, made available Monday Jan. 21, 2013 of Britain's Prince Harry or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, makes his early morning pre-flight checks on the flight-line, from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defense announced Monday that the 28-year-old prince is returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps. (AP Photo/ John Stillwell, Pool)

Associated Press

LONDON — Prince Harry's admission that he killed Taliban fighters while working as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan drew intense British media coverage Tuesday and sparked concerns about possible reprisals.

The 28-year-old prince spoke in a pooled interview published late Monday after he was safely out of Afghanistan. He had spent the last 20 weeks deployed as a co-pilot and gunner in a heavily armed Apache attack helicopter.

Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, the third-in-line to the British throne said: "Yeah, so, lots of people have."

The response was immediate Tuesday: The Daily Mirror tabloid ran a page-one headline "Royal Sensation Harry: I Killed Taliban" along with a photo of a macho-looking Harry in combat gear and designer shades. Other newspapers ran similar gung-ho stories about the prince's military exploits. "Harry: I Have Killed" was the story in the Daily Mail.

Not everyone was applauding the soldier-prince, however.

Lindsey German, leader of the Stop the War Coalition, called Harry's comments "arrogant and insensitive" and raised the prospect that Harry might have accidently targeted Afghan civilians.

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