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  Monday, September 16, 2019
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Britain's Prince Harry is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan after media
Britain's Prince Harry is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan after media coverage put both him and his unit in danger, a Ministry of Defense (MOD) spokesman has said.

Prince Harry, 23, the child of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, had served in Afghanistan for some 10 weeks.

The Ministry of Defense had earlier come to an agreement with the British media over a 'news blackout' concerning Prince Harry's presence in the war-torn Central Asian country. However, after foreign media began running the story, the MOD took the decision to withdraw the third-in-line to the British throne over fears that the Taliban could target him.

Harry's actions in Afghanistan involved calling up air cover in support of ground forces and taking part in foot patrols in the country's Helmand Province, where the vast majority of Britain's some 8,000 soldiers in Afghanistan are based

Harry had long expressed a desire to serve in the British Armed Forces, but was forbidden from serving in Iraq by military chiefs.

"All my wishes have come true," Harry told reporters in an interview supplied to the media for use once the news embargo had been called off. He also noted with glee that he hadn't showered for four weeks.

Harry is still believed to be in Afghanistan as military chiefs decide when to bring him home.

While opposition leader David Cameron called Harry's actions "incredibly brave' on Friday, the case looked set to lead to a debate in Britain on the nature of the media embargo that had kept the story off the front pages.

While some suggested that the 'leak' had been cynically manipulated by the British authorities to safely withdraw Harry from front-line action, others were more concerned with the very fact that the news had been 'ordered' off the front pages for so long.

"One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust media bosses again," wrote Jon Snow in his Channel 4 blog, also wondering, "What extra lengths British squaddies have had to go to make absolutely certain he doesn't get shot."

Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, served as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Navy in the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina some 25 years ago. 258 British soldiers died during the two-and-a-month conflict, and over 700 were wounded.


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