Prince Harry has acknowledged killing 25 people in Afghanistan during his time as an Apache helicopter pilot, according to the United Kingdom’s media, quoting a soon-to-be-published autobiography.
Harry, the duke of Sussex, served in Afghanistan first as a forward air controller in air raids from 2007-2008, then flying the attack helicopter between 2012-2013.
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The 38-year-old is due to release a book, Spare, in the next week, in which he revealed that he undertook six missions as a pilot that led to him “taking human lives”, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Harry said he was neither proud nor ashamed of doing so. He also described eliminating the targets as like removing “chess pieces” from a board.
“My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.
Video cameras mounted on the nose of his Apache helicopter enabled him to assess his missions – and determine with certainty how many he had killed.
The prince explained his justification for his actions because of the 9/11 attacks in the United States and meeting families of the victims.
He said those responsible and their sympathisers were “enemies of humanity” and fighting them was an act of vengeance for a crime against humanity.
The US-led foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021 after 20 years of military occupation that left tens of thousands of people dead, mostly civilians.
In the already controversial book to be published on January 10, Harry talked for the first time about the number of Taliban fighters he killed during his service.
The prince has also claimed his elder brother and heir to the throne, Prince William, knocked him to the floor during a 2019 argument about Harry’s wife Meghan, according to the Guardian, which obtained a copy of Harry’s memoir.
Harry also disclosed that the brothers, the sons of King Charles, had begged their father not to marry his second wife Camilla, now queen consort, and that he had taken cocaine as a teenager.
He served in the British Army for 10 years, rising to the rank of captain, and has described his time in the military as his formative years.
There have been security concerns because of Harry’s military service, which are likely to increase after he revealed the number of people he has killed during that time.
The Telegraph quoted extracts from the Spanish version of the autobiography it obtained after the book was mistakenly put on sale in bookshops on Thursday before being withdrawn.