Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Prince's wartime role draws reprisal fears
Prince Harry's admission that he killed Taliban fighters while working as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan drew intense British media coverage Tuesday and sparked concerns about possible reprisals.
The 28-year-old prince spoke in a pooled interview published late Monday after he was safely out of Afghanistan. He had spent the last 20 weeks deployed as a co-pilot and gunner in a heavily armed Apache attack helicopter.
Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, the third-in-line to the British throne said: "Yeah, so, lots of people have."
The response was immediate Tuesday: The Daily Mirror tabloid ran a page-one headline "Royal Sensation Harry: I Killed Taliban" along with a photo of a macho-looking Harry in combat gear and designer shades.
Other newspapers ran similar gung-ho stories about the prince's military exploits. "Harry: I Have Killed" was the story in the Daily Mail.
Video shot during the prince's deployment was shown dozens of times on Britain's major news networks.
In Parliament on Tuesday, Defense Minister Mark Francois praised Harry, saying the prince should be commended for his bravery.
He "has done well for his country," Francois said, offering kind words for a prince who has occasionally embarrassed the royal family, most recently by being photographed naked as he played strip billiards at a Las Vegas hotel.
Many in Harry's family have also seen combat -- most recently his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War. Prince Philip, his grandfather, served on Royal Navy battleships during World War II.
Not everyone was applauding the soldier-prince.
Lindsey German, leader of the Stop the War Coalition, called Harry's comments "arrogant and insensitive" and raised the prospect that Harry might have accidently targeted Afghan civilians.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for American leaders to think beyond gun laws in seeking ways to stop shooting tragedies.
The 65-year-old action star was in London on Tuesday for the U.K. premiere of the film "The Last Stand," his first leading role since serving as California's governor for eight years.
He says that U.S. leaders need to address issues such as parenting and mental illness as well as laws on firearms when discussing ways to reduce gun violence.
Schwarzenegger's comments come as American politicians are under pressure to respond to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, last month, in which a gunman killed 20 students and six staff.