The Taliban is lashing out at Prince Harry after he compared his role in the conflict in Afghanistan to playing video games.
Prince Harry, who is third in line to the British throne, said he killed Afghan insurgents and claimed he is a better gunner in Apache attack helicopters because of his video game skills.
“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 I’m probably quite useful,” he said in interviews released Monday after the end of his posting.
A Taliban official condemned the Prince’s remarks, calling him a “coward” and suggesting he is mentally unstable.
“This is a serious war, a historic war, resistance for us, for our people,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Agence France-Presse by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“But we don’t take his comments very seriously, as we have all seen and heard that many foreign soldiers, occupiers who come to Afghanistan, develop some kind of mental problems on their way out.”
Mr. Mujahid told The Daily Telegraph that Prince Harry was a “coward” for speaking out only after he had left Afghanistan.
“This statement is not even worth condemning. It is worse than that,” he said. “To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone – especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things.”
Prince Harry, who is known as Captain Wales in the military, served as a co-pilot and was in charge of the weapons systems in a two-man Apache helicopter cockpit, sometimes firing rockets and missiles at Afghan fighters during his posting with NATO forces in the southern province of Helmand.
Asked if he had killed insurgents during his 20-week tour, he said: “Yeah, so, lots of people have. … Yes, we fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we’re more of a deterrent than anything else.
“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game, I suppose,” said the 28-year-old prince in one of several interviews conducted in Afghanistan.