‘Drunk Harry’ claims are simply absurd, says MoD

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A SENIOR insurgent’s claims that Prince Harry kills innocent Afghans “while he is drunk” are nothing more than a “see-through attempt” to undermine progress in Afghanistan, military sources said yesterday.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, founder and leader of the country’s Hizbi
-Islamia Party, also claimed that foreign forces in Afghanistan have failed.

Hekmatyar, who was designated a terrorist by the US State Department in February 2003, said: “Britain dragged herself into this unjustified, useless but cruel conflict to please the White House.

“The British did not gain anything, instead they lost blood and treasure.

“They never had a positive role in Afghan affairs and they will not have any significance after 2014.

“I don’t understand how the British public accept their children being sent to certain death in order to please American generals.”

Of Harry, who is currently serving in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner, he said: “The British prince comes to Afghanistan to kill innocent Afghans while he is drunk.

“He wants to hunt down Mujahideen with his helicopter’s rockets, without any shame.”

But a military source yesterday dismissed his claims, saying: “The idea that highly skilled and professional Apache pilots operate drunk is patently ridiculous and completely made up.

“It is nothing more than a see-through attempt to undermine the very real progress being made in Afghanistan by UK troops and their Afghan partners.”

The comments made by Hekmatyar, a former prime minister of Afghanistan, come just weeks after David Cameron signalled that British troops could be withdrawn from Afghanistan even faster after better-than-expected progress by the country’s own security forces.

The Prime Minister previously announced UK numbers would be nearly halved to 5,200 this year as part of the plan to end combat operations in 2014, but during a pre-Christmas visit to troops in Camp Bastion he indicated the process could be speeded up further.

But Hekmatyar said: “The fact is that the government has failed. The authorities have lost their credibility completely.

“They have fallen victims to severe internal disputes and seem hopeless and worried.

“The foreign forces have failed and the situation is worsening day by day. We might face a dreadful situation after 2014, which no-one could have anticipated.

“All Afghan groups should agree on the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops by 2014.

“Then a free and fair election should be held.

“We will accept the government of whichever party is voted by the majority of the Afghan people.”

He added: “Before the withdrawal of invading forces the Mujahideen would like to witness with their own eyes a scene that will teach the invaders to never think of coming this way again.”

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: “The suggestion that any member of the UK Armed Forces deployed on operations operates under the influence of alcohol is simply absurd – not least because the consumption of alcohol by UK military personnel is not permitted under any circumstances while deployed in Afghanistan.

“UK troops deployed and remain in Afghanistan to protect our national security by removing what was a safe haven for international terrorism.”