GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Online Extras

January 23, 2013

Prince's wartime role draws praise, fears

LONDON — Prince Harry’s admission that he killed Taliban fighters while working as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan drew intense British media coverage yesterday 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: 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.

Video shot during the prince’s deployment was shown dozens of times on Britain’s major news networks.

In Parliament yesterday, Defense Minister Mark Francois praised Harry, saying the prince should be commended for his bravery.

He “has done well for his country,” Francois said, offering kind words for a prince who has occasionally embarrassed the royal family, most recently by being photographed naked as he played strip billiards at a Las Vegas hotel.

Many in Harry’s family have also seen combat — most recently his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War. Prince Philip, his grandfather, served on Royal Navy battleships during World War II.

Not everyone was applauding the soldier-prince.

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.

Former officer Charles Heyman, who edits a yearbook on British forces, said the prince’s words may raise the already high threat level against him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online Extras

NDN Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad