As Britain's Prince Harry ends his second combat tour of duty in Afghanistan, a comment about his skill as a helicopter gunner has led the Taliban to brand him a "coward."
In one of the many interviews
Harry -- or "Captain Wales" as he is known in the military -- gave to British media at the end of his Afghan tour, he said about his move up to the role of managing an Apache helicopter's weapons systems: "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 I'm probably quite useful."
As Britain's "The Daily Telegraph
" reports, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid described Harry as a "coward" and that his video-game statement was "not even worth condemning. It is worse than that."
The Taliban spokesman added: "To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone -- especially a prince who is supposed to be made of better things."
According to the newspaper, a commander in the southern Helmand Province, where Harry was based, said that describing the efforts -- and deaths -- of all the soldiers from different countries as part of a game was to show a lack of respect. "It's not a game. It's very, very real," he said.
The 28-year-old, third in line to the throne, said that he had simply done his job in firing at Taliban insurgents while in Afghanistan.
"If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose," he said. "Take a life to save a life...the squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount."
How much Harry's statements will be used by the Taliban in the running propaganda war
being waged in Afghanistan over local perceptions of the conflict is yet to be seen.
-- Dan Wisniewski