UK

Prince Charles warns Sandhurst cadets of 'death cult'

Prince of Wales at Sandhurst on 11 December 2015 Image copyright PA

A "cult of death and destruction" is seducing "lost young people", the Prince of Wales has told Army officer cadets at a passing-out parade.

Prince Charles did not mention the Islamic State group but his comments at Sandhurst are being interpreted as a reference to the organisation.

He told the cadets the international order was "under challenge as never before in my lifetime".

It was the first passing out involving mixed platoons of men and women.

The Sovereign's Parade at the military academy in Surrey formally marks the senior cadets' completion of their commissioning course, and the Prince of Wales was representing the Queen at the event for a fourth time.

He told the officer cadets they would face trials "as great as any faced by our forebears", but said he was confident they would rise to the challenge.

'Fair play'

"You are receiving your commissions as officers at a moment when the profession of arms is moving into uncharted waters," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The parade saw the first passing out at Sandhurst of mixed platoons of men and women

"In the face of such challenges, Britain's traditional qualities - fair play, civility, a sense of humour in adversity - remains as precious as they've always been.

"The harder it becomes to stop people determined to maim and kill, the more urgent becomes our need to understand and defuse their perverse determination."

Among those watching the parade was tennis player Andy Murray's wife Kim, whose brother Scott Sears was passing out.

Prince Charles is colonel in chief of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and wore his Army field marshal uniform at the parade.

His speech came as the Ministry of Defence issued an update on RAF operations against IS targets in Iraq and Syria.

Officials said that on Thursday two Typhoon FGR4s struck an IS-held building and a bunker in northern Iraq with a Paveway IV guided bomb; a Tornado patrol destroyed a building and a mortar position with Paveways, and a Reaper drone struck a vehicle and supported Kurdish forces when they came under fire from a sniper.

On Wednesday, two Tornado GR4s provided air support to Kurdish soldiers fighting IS in northern Iraq, and used a Paveway IV guided bomb to destroy a position.

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