Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Prince Harry a ‘coward’ and mentally unstable, Taliban says

Britain's Prince Harry performs a pre-flight check on his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high ready-ness) shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion, southern Afghanistan in this photograph taken on November 1, 2012, and released on January 21, 2013.

POOL/REUTERS

The Taliban is lashing out at Prince Harry after he compared his role in the conflict in Afghanistan to playing video games.

Prince Harry, who is third in line to the British throne, said he killed Afghan insurgents and claimed he is a better gunner in Apache attack helicopters because of his video game skills.

"It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful," he said in interviews released Monday after the end of his posting.

Story continues below advertisement

A Taliban official condemned the Prince's remarks, calling him a "coward" and suggesting he is mentally unstable.

"This is a serious war, a historic war, resistance for us, for our people," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Agence France-Presse by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"But we don't take his comments very seriously, as we have all seen and heard that many foreign soldiers, occupiers who come to Afghanistan, develop some kind of mental problems on their way out."

Mr. Mujahid told The Daily Telegraph that Prince Harry was a "coward" for speaking out only after he had left Afghanistan.

"This statement is not even worth condemning. It is worse than that," he said. "To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone – especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things."

Prince Harry, who is known as Captain Wales in the military, served as a co-pilot and was in charge of the weapons systems in a two-man Apache helicopter cockpit, sometimes firing rockets and missiles at Afghan fighters during his posting with NATO forces in the southern province of Helmand.

Asked if he had killed insurgents during his 20-week tour, he said: "Yeah, so, lots of people have. … Yes, we fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we're more of a deterrent than anything else.

Story continues below advertisement

"If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose," said the 28-year-old prince in one of several interviews conducted in Afghanistan.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
National news reporter

  More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.