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Fri Apr 18 18:45:26 SAST 2014

Taliban determined to kill Prince Harry in Afghanistan

Sapa-AFP | 10 September, 2012 08:24
Britain's Prince Harry is shown the Apache helicopter flight line by an unidentified member of his squadron at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan September 7, 2012. File photo.
Image by: POOL / REUTERS

The Taliban said Monday it was determined to kill Britain's Prince Harry, serving in Afghanistan four years after his previous deployment was cut short over security concerns.

A militia spokesman said the group had a "high-value plan" to attack the third in line to the British throne in southern province Helmand, one of the toughest battlefields in the 10-year war.

"We will do our best to kill Prince Harry and Britain's other troops based in Helmand," the spokesman, who gave his name as Zabihullah Mujahid, told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"It is not important for us to kidnap him. We will target him and we will kill him," he added.

The 27-year-old Apache helicopter pilot, who hit the headlines last month after he was photographed naked at a party in Las Vegas, will spend four months based at the heavily fortified Camp Bastion in Helmand.

"Whoever fights in our country is our enemy and we will do everything possible to kill him," said Mujahid.

Britain says Harry's squadron "will provide surveillance, deterrence and, when required, close combat attack capabilities as well as escort duties for other aircraft".

In 2008, the royal was hastily withdrawn from Afghanistan when a news blackout surrounding his deployment, on the ground directing aircraft in attacks on Taliban positions, was broken.

This time, however, the military has released photographs and video of him in Afghanistan from the start.

The Ministry of Defence said any risk "has been, and will continue to be, assessed".

Prince Harry is in Afghanistan on a four-month tour, based out of Camp Bastion in the volatile Helmand province, where he will be on the front line in the NATO-led war against Taliban insurgents.

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Fri Apr 18 18:45:26 SAST 2014 ::