The Taliban administration in Afghanistan has criticised Prince Harry after the British royal said in his memoir that he had killed 25 Afghans when serving as a military helicopter pilot, describing them as “chess pieces removed from the board”.
“The western occupation of Afghanistan is truly an odious moment in human history and comments by Prince Harry is a microcosm of the trauma experienced by Afghans at the hands of occupation forces who murdered innocents without any accountability,” Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesperson for the Taliban-led Afghan foreign affairs ministry, said.
“It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” Harry wrote, according to the Spanish version of the book. “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat, I didn’t think of those 25 as people.
“They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad people eliminated before they could kill Good people.”
Anas Haqqani, leader of the Taliban, condemned the remarks on Twitter, saying: “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.”
“I don’t expect that the ICC 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,” he added.
The Duke of Sussex also credited his effectiveness as an Apache gunner to his fondness for 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,” he said.