Press Trust of India
London, 5 October
Prince Harry was the prime target of the Taliban during his stint with British troops in Afghanistan and there were many plans to capture him but his “good luck” saved him, a top militant commander has claimed.
The rebels were determined to capture Britain’s fourth-in-line to the throne during his tour of duty in Afghanistan, commander Qari Nasrullah said in an interview with the ‘Daily Mirror’ at a heavily guarded compound near Peshawar in north-west Pakistan.
Nasrullah, a Taliban commander from the Afghan province of Kunnar, revealed how Prince Harry was the No. 1 target during his stint in the war-torn country as a British army officer.
“When your Prince came here and flew his Apache helicopter and bombarded the mujahideen it meant that our fighters did not exactly have a soft spot for him,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.
“As far as the mujahideen were concerned, he was just an ordinary soldier who was fighting for America. This is how we view him. He may well be a Prince in Britain, but to us he is merely a common soldier.
“There were many plans to capture him but, maybe it was his good luck, he managed to escape,” Nasrullah said.
Prince Harry, 29, served on the Afghan front line with British forces twice. His 2008 tour as an infantryman calling in air attacks on the Taliban was cut short after 10 weeks when foreign media broke a strict news blackout and announced he was there.
Captain Wales, as he is known in the army, did his second tour as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps in September last year.
Within days of his arrival, the main UK base at Camp Bastion was attacked in an assault triggered by suicide bombers.
According to the ‘Mirror’, Prince Harry was off duty at the time and the only British servicemen involved were from the RAF Regiment.
The newspaper has been running the exclusive interview with Nasrullah, who after five months of negotiations agreed to speak on camera with his face masked by a scarf.