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Prince Harry's wartime role draws reprisal fears

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, talks to a TV crew after making his early morning pre-flight checks on the flight-line, from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan.
January 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Prince Harry's return to Britain is prompting safety concerns after he admitted he helped kill Taliban members in a recent interview.

The 28-year-old army captain was very candid about life on the front line in Afghanistan during an interview that marked the end of his tour of duty in Helmand Province.

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

Media coverage and people's reactions regarding the prince's comments were immediate in Great Britain Tuesday.

British papers responded, calling Prince Harry a royal misfit. 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. Others called him a hero for his willingness to go into combat for his country.

Much of the criticism surrounds the prince's correlation between his skills of flying an Apache helicopter and his talent when it comes to playing video games.

"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 that I'm probably quite useful," the prince said.

An Afghan government official says the correlation gives the Taliban a propaganda victory.

The prince spent the last 20 weeks deployed as a co-pilot and gunner in a heavily armed Apache attack helicopter.

On his way home from Afghanistan, the prince stopped in Cyprus for a two-day vacation, as security scrambled following the prince's comments. His wartime role has prompted concern about possible reprisals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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