West News Wire: Prince Harry of Britain has come under fire from the Taliban government for admitting to killing 25 people while serving in Afghanistan, and a top Afghan official has charged the prince of murdering innocent civilians.

Taliban leader Anas Haqqani told a news channel on Friday, “We verified and found that on the days on which Prince Harry is mentioning the killing of 25 people, we did not have any casualties in Helmand.” “It is obvious that ordinary citizens and civilians were the targets.”

He claimed that this incident was just one of many war crimes committed over the 20 years that Western forces were stationed in Afghanistan. “It is not a whole picture of the atrocities they committed.”

The Taliban leader earlier accused the British royal of committing “war crimes”.

“Mr Harry! The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans,” Haqqani tweeted, referring to Prince Harry’s description that eliminating people who he said were Taliban fighters was like removing “chess pieces” from a board.

“The truth is what you’ve said; Our innocent people were chess pieces to your soldiers, military and political leaders. Still, you were defeated in that ‘game’.”

The Taliban returned to power in August 2021 after US-led NATO troops withdrew following 20 years of military occupation of Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of Afghans, a large number of them civilians, were killed and wounded during the war. The country has still not emerged from the effects of the war.

The US-led forces as well as the Taliban have been accused of war crimes during the two decades of war.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also criticised the comments by the British royal, which have received widespread criticism.

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“The Western occupation of Afghanistan is truly an odious moment in human history, and comments by Prince Harry is a microcosm of the trauma experienced by Afghans at the hands of occupation forces, who murdered innocents without any accountability,” he said.

In his memoir to be released next week, Harry reveals the number of people he killed during two tours of duty, British media have reported.

“My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote in the book “Spare”, due out on Tuesday. “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people.

“They were chess pieces removed from the board. Bad people eliminated before they could kill Good people.”

The Duke of Sussex participated in airstrikes in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008 as a forward air controller before flying Apache assault helicopters in 2012 and 2013. He was in the British military for ten years, reaching the rank of captain.

Harry’s comments, according to Afghan analyst Obaidullah Baheer stationed in Kabul, show how “collateral harm is such a slippery slope.”

He told a news channel that “this lack of sentiment, utter detachment from the sin of murdering life, is justified by a greater cause.” What Harry stated may have been indicative of what a Talib combatant would have said.

It’s amusing how Prince Harry hasn’t learned how to be a human or to cherish human life despite all this education and modernity, he said.

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