Kabul: The Taliban has claimed responsibility for attempting to attack Prince Harry in Britain’s ‘impregnable’ headquarters in Afghanistan. The attack comes just days after the Taliban announced it was launching ‘Harry Operations’ aimed at killing or wounding the Prince.
According to the Telegraph, 19 Taliban attackers armed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons crossed the perimeter of Camp Bastion in a well-planned raid, which shocked senior officers.
Two American Marines were killed and five aircrafts damaged or destroyed five aircrafts before Western soldiers led by British troops killed 18 of the attackers and arrested one.
The attack was carried out at around 10 pm on Friday night. The Taliban rushed to claim a propaganda victory, saying that Prince Harry, who is an Apache helicopter pilot based at Bastion, was the intended victim of the attack.
According to the report, they also said they had been inspired to attack the camp, home to 28,000 personnel, by an American-made film which insulted the prophet Mohammed. “We attacked that base because Prince Harry was also on it and so they can know our anger. Thousands more suicide attackers are ready to give up their lives for the sake of the Prophet,” Qari Youssef Ahmadi, the Taliban’s spokesman, said.
But the statement was dismissed by the Ministry of Defence who said it was ‘entirely predictable’ that the Taliban would claim that the Prince was the primary target even though he was nowhere near the point of attack.
“This was a determined attack which achieve its aim of getting global press coverage. They are masters of propaganda. But they are deluded if they really think they can storm Camp Bastion and kill or seriously injured Prince Harry. The attack was never going to succeed but in reality that was never really its aim,” a senior Army officer said.
A major security review is now under way into how such an assault could be launched on a base which is surrounded by state of the art fortifications and defences.