22 Jan 2013

Harry tells of firing on Taliban

6:27 pm on 22 January 2013

Prince Harry has revealed that he fired at Taliban militants in Afghanistan during his time serving as a helicopter pilot.

The third in line to the British throne has just ended a five-month deployment as an Apache co-pilot gunner and is returning home.

Harry is the first member of the royal family to see active combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew, fought in the Falklands War and flew scores of missions over southern Helmand Province during the 20-week posting.

In a series of media interviews recorded at Britain's Camp Bastion, Harry spoke of firing at Taliban fighters.

"Take a life to save a life - that's what we sort of revolve around, I suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game.

"It's not the reason I decided to do this job. The reason I did this job was to get back out here and carry on with a job."

The 28-year-old said he slept in a tent and a shipping container at the camp.

Radio New Zealand's London correspondent reports that Harry wants to be seen and thought of as a member of the army, just like any other. However, when he is in Afghanistan, the Taliban have made it clear that they see him as a target.

The prince also spoke about having "let his family down" when photographed naked in a Las Vegas hotel in 2011, but said he felt he should have been afforded more privacy over the incident.