The Taliban respond to the “chess pieces” comment on the killing of Afghanistan

This photo taken on October 31, 2012 shows Britain’s Prince Harry conducting early morning pre-flight checks on the British-controlled flight path at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he was serving as an Apache helicopter pilot/gunner with Army 662 Square Foot. Air Force.

John Stillwell | Afp | Getty Images

The early release of Prince Harry’s memoir “Spear” sparked outrage from many different sources, from staunch supporters of the monarchy to television pundits and ordinary Brits — and most recently, the Taliban.

The long-awaited book, written in the years after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle left their roles in the British royal family, accidentally went up for sale in Spain several days before its official release date.

Among the many controversial revelations in the memoirs is Harry’s revelation that he killed 25 Taliban fighters while deployed to Afghanistan with the British Army.

According to excerpts from the book cited by Sky News, which has obtained a copy, Harry said he did not view the fighters as “people” but as “chess pieces” that he would remove from the board.

“It wasn’t something that pleased me, but I wasn’t ashamed either,” the prince wrote. CNBC has neither seen nor been able to obtain a copy of the book.

Taliban leader Anas Haqqani responded to the remarks on Twitter, writing: “Mr. Harry! Those you killed were not chess pieces, they were human beings, and they had families waiting for their return. Among the Afghan killers, not many have the decency to reveal their conscience and confess their war crimes.” committed it.”

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Haqqani added, “Our innocent people were chess pieces for your soldiers, military and political leaders. Yet you were defeated in the black-and-white ‘square’ game.”

The Taliban returned to full power over Afghanistan when the United States withdrew its last troops from the country in August of 2021. It has since re-imposed an ultra-conservative Islamic religious order over the country, imposing violent penalties on dissidents and banning women from higher education. , among other human rights violations.

Prince Harry patrols the deserted town of Garmesir on January 2, 2008 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

John Stillwell | Anwar Hussain Collection / ROTA | wireimage | Getty Images

Harry served in the British Army for 10 years, attaining the rank of captain. He served two tours in Afghanistan, first in 2007-2008 as a forward air controller, and later in 2012-2013 as an attack helicopter pilot.

The Taliban leader is not the only one angry about Harry’s remarks. The news sparked a backlash from former members of the British Army too, who largely live by a culture of not speaking out or boasting about the lives they took in combat.

“I love you #Prince Harry But you have to shut up! Ben McBain, a former Royal Marine who served with Harry in Afghanistan, wrote on Twitter Thursday that “it makes you wonder about the people he hangs out with.” If people were so kind, someone would have told him to stop.”

Colonel Richard Kemp, a former senior army officer who commanded British forces in Afghanistan in 2003, described Harry’s comments as “unwise” and potentially dangerous.

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“Maybe Harry’s words were wrong for two reasons,” Kemp said in an interview with Sky News. “One is his suggestion that he killed 25 people would reconvince those who wished him harm.”

Prince Harry sits in the forward cockpit of an Apache helicopter in the British-controlled flight line at Camp Bastion on October 31, 2012 in Afghanistan. Prince Harry served as an Apache helicopter pilot/gunner with 662 Sqd Army Corps, from September 2012 for four months until January 2013.

John Stillwell | wpa pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The retired colonel added: “The other problem I found with his comments was that he basically described the British Army as having trained him and other soldiers to see their enemy as less than human, just like chess pieces on a board that have to be crushed, that’s not the case. It’s the opposite of what Happen or occur “.

He warned that such statements might “incite some to try to launch an attack on British soldiers anywhere in the world.”

Kensington Palace, which represents Prince William, and Buckingham Palace, which represents King Charles III, have so far declined to comment on the book and any of its claims. CNBC has reached out to Prince Harry’s representative for comment.

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