02/10/2012

Taliban will use 'all our power' to kill or capture Prince Harry

Harry camouflage
Prince Harry meets a couple of camouflaged soldiers during a visit to RAF Honington on Friday in Suffolk, England. The 27-year-old is Honorary Air Commandant of the military base and presented a selection of service commendations to RAF personnel. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has been warned: The Taliban plan to use "all our power" to kill him.

The 27-year-old prince, fresh from graduating to the elite class of Apache attack helicopter pilots, is expected to join British troops fighting the militant Taliban in Afghanistan later this year.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, had some advice for the third in line to the throne, speaking through the Daily Telegraph.

"A prince should use his position to help people, not to come and kill people around the world,” he said. "We will continue to defend against all the invaders, but we will use all our power to kill or capture the Prince."

He added that should the prince be captured, he would be treated like any other prisoner. That's cold comfort.

Harry spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan in 2007-8 with the infantry before being pulled out after a media blackout on his presence was broken. This time around, he will be in a less vulnerable but still very dangerous position as a co-pilot gunner on the Apache.

Harry everestHarry himself has no misgivings about his military path and has told people he looks forward to returning to the war-torn country to serve. It's reported he'll have a four-month tour of duty, flying out of the main British base of Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

He will be well prepared for it, having earned his distinction as an Apache pilot after 18 months of training, capped by winning the best co-pilot gunner award this week.

Before deploying to Afghanistan, he has plenty to keep him busy, including a solo royal tour next month to Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He's making a few goodwill stops in the UK as well, including a couple on Friday -- one to RAF Honington in Suffolk, and another in London for the launch of the Walking With The Wounded charity's Mount Everest expedition (right, playing the jokester in an altitude centre, a mechanism for reducing oxygen to replicate conditions on Mount Everest).

Harry had originally been planning to join the Everest expedition through to base camp, but had to back out because of scheduling conflicts. The expedition, leaving on March 27, aims to have five injured servicemen successfully reach the summit. Last year, Harry joined the charity for military personnel during their march to the North Pole. 

At Honington, the army captain, who was appointed Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in October 2008, visited with military personnel and their families as he took a tour around some of the equipment and weapons.

"He's just an average sort of bloke when you meet him," Senior Aircraftman Josh Brown told the Telegraph. "He was talking to us about his tour in Afghanistan and Camp Bastion and what the kit was like in camp."

Harry machine gun
Prince Harry shares a joke with members of the RAF as they show him machine guns during a visit to RAF Honington. (Getty Images)

Harry crowd 1
Prince Harry talks to Sean and Katie Thompson, and their daughter nine-month-old Jessica, during a visit to RAF Honington. The Prince presented service commendations to RAF personnel and met servicemen and women and their families. (Reuters)

Harry crowd
Prince Harry chats to wellwishers during a visit to RAF Honington on Friday. (Getty Images)

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