Prince Harry at Camp Bastion during Taliban attack


Nato says Prince Harry was never in any danger despite the attack on Camp Bastion

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Prince Harry was at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan during an assault by the Taliban which killed two US marines.

American officials said small arms, rockets and mortars were used to attack the perimeter of the British base, home to troops from several countries.

The Taliban said it was a response to an amateur US-made film mocking Islam and later claimed the base was chosen because Harry was there.

Nato told Reuters news agency that the prince "was never in any danger".

Prince Harry, who is marking his 28th birthday, is in Afghanistan for four months on his second tour of duty.

The attack came as two Nato soldiers were killed by a man - thought to be a member of the Afghan local police force - who opened fire on troops in the south of the country. The gunman was subsequently shot dead.

The nationalities of the dead soldiers have not been made public.

On Friday, a British soldier - from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards - was killed after his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

Defence visit

Camp Bastion is situated in the middle of the desert with excellent visibility all around, says the BBC's Jonathan Beale in Kabul.

The base includes personnel from the Denmark, Estonia and Afghanistan, as well as the UK and US. No UK casualties have been reported.

Locator map of Afghanistan

It is extremely heavily fortified and questions will be asked about how militants were able to stage the surprise assault, our correspondent added.

The attack comes a few days after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond visited troops there.

Sayed Malook, a commander in the Afghan National Army said the evening attack, which involved up to 20 Taliban fighters and lasted four hours, began with a suicide bomb blast that breached the base wall.

An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said that 18 Taliban fighters had been killed and one captured.

Describing the attack as "significant", an MoD spokesman said it was "there has been some damage to equipment which is still being assessed" and a "clearance operation" was taking place.

He added: "After swift action by ISAF forces, including UK personnel, the incident was contained."

In a telephone conversation with the BBC, Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadion reiterated earlier comments and said the attack was planned after they found out about the film US but added that Camp Bastion was chosen as the target because Prince Harry was there.

Brigadier General Gunter Katz, ISAF, said they were looking at how the Taliban managed to attack the base

Isaf spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz said the Taliban was "claiming a lot... They lose any credibility and it's very hard to understand what's behind the motives of those claims."

Violent protests against Western embassies have swept the Muslim world amid widespread anger over the film called Innocence of Muslims. They began on Tuesday in Egypt. On Friday, at least seven people died in escalating unrest in Khartoum, Tunis and Cairo.

There are fears of a surge in violence ahead of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

'Threats to kill'

Camp Bastion is one of the world's busiest airports because of the heavy helicopter and plane traffic.

But successful head-on attacks by insurgents that penetrate the perimeter fence, which is protected by hi-tech detection systems, are rare.

Earlier this year, a member of Nato forces was injured when an Afghan man drove a pick-up truck onto the runway, which then burst into flames, during a visit by US defence secretary Leon Panetta.

Ahmad Majidyar, of the American Enterprise Institute think tank, told the BBC that Camp Bastion was a more likely target while the prince was there.

"One of the motivations could be the presence of Prince Harry in that camp, because the Taliban some days ago warned that they would target and kill Prince Harry," he said.

Prince Harry examining the cockpit of an Apache helicopter with a member of his squadron Prince Harry will be commanding an Apache helicopter and the threat to him is regarded as "low"

Prince Harry is the first member of the Royal Family to see active combat since his uncle Prince Andrew fought in the Falklands War.

Captain Wales, as the prince is known in the military, arrived as part of the 100-strong 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment, Army Air Corps earlier this month.

His first stint between 2007 and 2008 was cut short after 10 weeks because his presence was leaked by the international media.

For this current deployment, the Ministry of Defence made it clear it was willing to confirm Harry's role as he will be commanding an Apache helicopter and the threat to him is regarded as "low".

British forces have lost none of their 67 Apaches, although there have been two minor crashes.

During his previous deployment, Harry was a forward air controller directing planes bombing Taliban positions in Helmand.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 549.

    Christianity "An eye for an eye"

    Islam "An eye for a eyelash"

  • Comment number 548.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 547.

    The illusion by the royal brown nose media that Harry was close or even was involved or at threat at the huge camp bastions base is outrageous. Two Us soldiers were killed whilst he the "special superior one" was well protected of the events but he as ever will be focus upon whilst real soldiers get on with their jobs 24/7. Spoilt Brat Harry's better off leaving War for real men whilst he parties!

  • Comment number 546.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 545.

    518 Dave...

    You just wating for someone to mention Medina ?...Curious..

    Looking at the Charter of Medina ?..Its hard to deny he implemented many reforms that were centuries ahead of pagans here !.

    Anyways..I`m not advocate of Islam, just a voice of reason against the downright ignorant..

    Denying something you can`t percieve ends up being an arguement for your limitations

  • rate this

    Comment number 544.

    One protester in Eygpt the other evening on TV said that there should be law in the whole of the world that forbids saying anything against Mohammed.
    I think this says it all, gullable minds are being indoctrinated by questionable Mullahs for secular purpose not spiritual. This is middle age interpretation of a religion, not enlightened
    Islamo Facism ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    Harry is a soldier, I am sure that he knows and accepts the risks inherent in being on active deployment. We should also accept these risks. I hope we won't be informed by way of the media every time he's within 5km of an explosion....

    I support Harry in the military, he's continuing a grand tradition of British Royals in the services. Good on him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    I watched the Film(for about 5min) behind the riots on Youtube, it was clearly an attempt to insult Islam. BUT I can see it for what it is. Why then are people rioting and playing right into the hands of the makers, who can sit back and say" See Islam is Evil". Some folk are their own worst enemy. I can see America cutting Foreign Aid to certain countries quite dramatically.

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    Re 525 Fahim. 'The hatred of these comments is obscene. So a few American soldiers were killed'.

    You have the same casual relationship to death as the Taliban. These American soldiers have mothers, fathers , maybe wives and children. Death is not casual. It if final and horrible. The loss of any person should never be taken lightly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    Can somebody exactly tell me it was when the Taliban invaded the UK and can somebody tell me when the Iraqi people invaded the UK? Ah right keyboard bashers, you have to go back 500 yrs, However, in the last 30yrs the Englaterra has invaded the Falklands, Iraq, W.Africa E.Africa and Afghanistan just to name but a few, why do you think Polititians have so much wealth! Whoops! (immigration) ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.

    Why is the press promoting the lie that this is a response to a youtube video instead of a planned protest on Sept 11

    Their is no excuse for the violence, the protesters are either terrorists or people whose mindset belong in the Middle Ages.

    Grow up all you people crying about lack of respect

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    He chose to join the Army.
    He went to war.
    He was in the vicinity of an enemy attack.
    Hardly surprising?

  • Comment number 537.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    We are repeatedly told that Islam is a religion of peace and that the mediaeval tactics employed in its name by the Taliban and those storming various embassys are non Islamic in nature. So let's listen out to the Imams from around the world condemning these attacks made in the name of Islam. The silence is so far deafening.

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    Yes Harry is fighting on the front line from Queen (Grandma) and Country. But while he is out there, the rest of the troops are more at risk in my opinion. It was only a few weeks ago he was enjoying a lavish holiday in Vegas staying in a £5000 a night hotel. It's not like he needs the money where as the rest of our boys and girls are earning just over £17,00 a year with hardly a mention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.


    "So we can expect more of this until those who made the film are prosecuted."

    Innocent people should not bear the fatal burdens of those who act in distaste. It is a bit like me murdering your family because of what one of your friends said. The prosecution to fall upon those that carry out the injustices of murder, not those that carry out the justices of free speech.

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    515 coram

    "No, he joins the army as a commissioned officer, and goes to Afghanistan. Why?"

    I think you might be on the wrong blog if you need to ask that question

    But anyway:

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    Insults to Islam !?

    How long is the world & other non-beligerent religions going to put up with all this "pretence" for violent acts by fanatics in the name of Islam?

    Islam is the only religion currently being used to carry out acts of babarism throughout the world.

    If Muslims think this will endear others to their beliefs they are sadly mistaken - only they can put a stop to it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    A MODERN Christian would not riot and kill simply because of a minister saying so.

    Have you never heard "Weapons of mass destruction". We have, as a society, killed an awful lot more Muslims than they have of westerners.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    Don't worry. Prince Harry will be wrapped in cotton wool, 50 miles away from the nearest action.


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