Taliban brands Prince Harry 'big mouth loser' and accuses him of war crimes after he admits killing 25 fighters

6 January 2023, 09:35 | Updated: 6 January 2023, 14:30

Prince Harry has been criticised for his comments about killing people in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has been criticised for his comments about killing people in Afghanistan. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Taliban chiefs have branded Prince Harry a "big mouth loser" and accused him of "war crimes" after he admitted killing 25 people while serving in Afghanistan.

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Taunting the Prince the militants said they had the last laugh over the West by recapturing the country in 2021 and their Mujaheddin 'chess pieces' are the ultimate victors of the conflict.

Interior minister Anas Haqani said on Twitter: "Mr. Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return.

"Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes."

He added: "The truth is what you've said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that "game" of white & black "square".

"I don't expect that the [International Criminal Court] will summon you or the human rights activists will condemn you, because they are deaf and blind for you. But hopefully these atrocities will be remembered in the history of humanity."

Speaking from a checkpoint outside Islam Qala, a town on the border with Iran, Taliban commander Molavi Agha Gol, 32, told MailOnline: "We are still here ruling but he has fled to his grandmother's palace. He's a big mouth loser who has been trying to get attention.

"I do not even believe what he said about the Mujaheddin. He is a loser and scared to go to a combat zone. We made history by kicking him and his army out of our homeland and he should be very angry about that.

"Do not believe whatever losers tell you. I see news about him a lot on my Facebook feed and really think he's gone mad and needs a doctor immediately.

"Even if he believes [that he killed 25 Taliban], our martyred Mujaheddin are in heaven, but his invading friends are burning in hell and I really hope I was in Helmand when he was there, to make him understand what real chess pieces are.'

"If he's a real man and not a f***ing loser, come to Afghanistan again."

The prince served in Afghanistan on two tours, first in 2007 as a battlefield air controller behind enemy lines, and later in 2012 as a helicopter co-pilot gunner.

He wrote in his upcoming memoir Spare: "So, my number is 25. It's not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me."

Harry said in the tell-all book, set to be published in the UK on January 10, that he did not see the fighters he killed as people, but rather as "chess pieces".

Prince Harry in Afghanistan
Prince Harry on patrol in Afghanistan. Picture: Getty

His "distasteful" comments also sparked a wave of criticism from British fellow veterans and a former government adviser.

Colonel Tim Collins, well known for a rousing speech he made to his troops in Iraq, slamming the prince for "turning against his other family, the military".

Col Collins told industry outlet Forces News: "Amongst his assertions is a claim that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan. "That's not how you behave in the Army; it's not how we think."

He added: "Harry has now turned against the other family, the military, that once embraced him, having trashed his birth family."

He asked: "I wonder whose path he has chosen? In the end I see only disappointment and misery in his pursuit of riches he does not need and his rejection of family and comradely love that he badly needs."

Prince Harry served on two tours of Afghanistan
Prince Harry served on two tours of Afghanistan. Picture: Getty

Lord Kim Darroch, a former national security adviser, said he thought Harry's comments were "ill-advised".

"You have to respect all of those who fought in Afghanistan," he told Sky News.

"I went there a number of times when I was national security adviser. It's a really tough environment, it was a really dangerous war, we lost more than 500 British servicemen.

"I respect and appreciate all those who fought there. Personally if I'd been advising the prince, I would have advised against the kind of detail that he goes into there."

Former British army colonel Richard Kemp said that the prince's decision to reveal the number of people he killed in his memoir Spare amounted to a "betrayal of the people he fought alongside".

Colonel Kemp told the Sun that Harry's claim "undermines his personal security. He has shot himself in the foot... it will probably incite those who want to take revenge and try and do so."

Colonel Richard Kemp blasted the prince
Colonel Richard Kemp blasted the prince. Picture: Alamy
Prince Harry served as a helicopter pilot and gunner in his second tour
Prince Harry served as a helicopter pilot and gunner in his second tour. Picture: Getty
Prince Harry with injured Royal Marine Ben McBean
Prince Harry with injured Royal Marine Ben McBean. Picture: Getty

Former Royal Marine Ben McBean, whom Harry hailed as a hero after he lost an arm and a leg in the war, also hit out at the prince for his comments.

Mr McBean said on Twitter: "Love you #PrinceHarry but you need to shut up! Makes you wonder the people he's hanging around with. If it was good people somebody by now would have told him to stop".

Harry with Ben McBean
Harry with Ben McBean. Picture: Alamy

Conservative MP Bob Stewart, a former colonel who led British troops in Bosnia, called Harry's comments "distasteful".

He told MailOnline: "I wonder why he is doing such things. Real soldiers tend to shy away... People I know don't boast about such things. They rather regret that they have had to do it.

"It is also rather sad that a man who has had all these advantages in life seems so intent on destroying himself and the monarchy.

British MP and former UN commander in Bosnia, Bob Stewart
British MP and former UN commander in Bosnia, Bob Stewart. Picture: Getty

"I feel really sad for the King. Because the King is a good man. I have met him a few times, he was my colonel of the regiment. He is a very sensitive decent man and this will be really hurting him a great deal, all this furore.

"I just think it is so sad because so many people have not had Prince Harry's chances in life, and the whole thing seems to be a bit tragic."

Soldier who served alongside Prince Harry slams him over new book claims

And a veteran of several tours in Afghanistan and Iraq told LBC on Friday that Harry had broken "an unwritten rule" by talking publicly about the number of people he had killed.

"It's never shared. It's shared only with those that know, and only with your absolute closest friends," the man said.

"Never would you do it to someone you meet in the pub, or certainly would you never share it publicly like this. It's hugely disappointing."

The caller added that he had been so proud to be serving in Afghanistan at the same time as Harry, and that he was "very much a royalist" alongside most people serving in the armed forces, but that the prince had undermined that now.

Harry's claims appear to have stoked anger in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world, with Ghanem Nuseibeh, head of Muslims against Antisemitism, claiming the prince has been labelled a "crusader, terrorist, murderer".

Mr Nuseibeh said on Twitter: "The British army is the world’s most professional, humane army that was fighting a just war in Afghanistan. For Harry to make such baseless, inflammatory claims demonstrates total ignorance."

He shared a post translated from Arabic that said: "Imagine how they enjoy killing Muslims and playing with their blood without being held accountable".

Prince Harry has previously drawn criticism for comments about his time in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has previously drawn criticism for comments about his time in Afghanistan. Picture: Getty

This is not the first time Harry has been criticised for comments on his service in Afghanistan.

"Take a life to save a life," he shrugged and said during an interview in 2013. "That's what we revolve around, I suppose.

"If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose."

Read more: 'He wanted me to hit him back': Harry says he saw 'red mist' in William during physical attack

Read more: Harry reveals his final words to the Queen in bombshell memoir Spare as Palace keeps tight-lipped

The latest comments come amid a raft of other allegations made by Harry in the book, which has been leaked and published early in Spain.

Some of the prince's more lurid claims include Prince William hitting him in a row over his wife Meghan Markle, losing his virginity in a field behind a pub car park to an older woman, and admitting taking cocaine, cannabis and magic mushrooms.

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