Taliban promise to "arrest or kill" Prince Harry
The Taliban have greeted the arrival of Prince Harry into war-torn Afghanistan with a collective snicker and a dire warning.
A spokesperson for militant Islamists told SkyNews that Prince Harry will be a "high value target" for the army of militant Islamists."Whoever is fighting in our country alongside the U.S. is our enemy and we will attack him," said Zabiullah Mujahid.
"Prince Harry came to Afghanistan and he is a high value target for us. We will try to arrest him. Because he is an Apache helicopter pilot, he will target us more. If we are not able to arrest him we will target him."The Taliban will make their best efforts to arrest or kill Prince Harry."
Mujahid, who made of the same threats earlier this year, is also quoted in the Telegraph as saying the prince's appearance was designed to boost morale of the British troops and even "atone" for his naked fling in Las Vegas several weeks ago.
"The British Army is under pressure, just like the other forces in Afghanistan, and Britain wants to encourage its soldiers with such actions," Mujahid told the paper. "And also the Prince was seen in naked pictures in England. To cover this shame, maybe he can atone by showing that he is fighting beside their soldiers in Afghanistan."
The 27-year-old prince, known as Capt. Wales, has begun his four-month tour of duty as an Apache co-pilot gunner with a 10-day orientation at Camp Bastion. On Sunday, he did first-aid training and had a lesson in roadside bomb awareness.
After that, he will begin flying missions to hunt down Taliban and support ground troops. There are about 9,500 British troops in the country as party of NATO and U.S.-led missions.
"The British haven't been able to do anything here in Afghanistan with all their soldiers. They can't do anything with their prince here either," Mujahid said.
One thing is certain: this is not a PR stunt by Harry, who has longed to get back to front-line action since his last, abbreviated Afghanistan tour in 2008. It's apparent, too, that the Palace has plans for him beyond his military prowess. The Telegraph is reporting that he has been asked by the Foreign Office to visit China on a diplomatic mission next year.
Relations between Britain and China have been strained because of several factors, not the least of which is the UK's meetings with the Dalai Lama,the Tibetan spiritual leader who has long been a thorn in China's side.
For all his party antics, Prince Harry proved to be a vaulable ambassdor for British interests with his solo tour through the Caribbean and Brazil earlier this year.