MoD confirms Prince Harry's withdrawal

PRINCE Harry is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan over concerns for his safety.Sources say the 23-year-old officer, who has been fighting the Taliban in Helmand Province for ten weeks, will be flown home.

PRINCE Harry is to be withdrawn from Afghanistan immediately over concerns for his safety, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today.

The 23-year-old Household Calvary officer has been fighting the Taliban in Helmand Province for ten weeks.

The move to fly Harry home will come as a major blow to the young Royal, and comes after the breakdown of a news blackout deal agreed across the UK media after foreign websites leaked details of his deployment.

The MoD today issued the following statement: "The decision by elements of the foreign media to report Prince Harry's presence in Afghanistan without any consultation with the Ministry of Defence is regrettable.

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“However, this was a circumstance that we have always been aware of and one for which we have had contingency plans in place.

Whilst it had been intended that Prince Harry should return in a matter of weeks with the remainder of the Household Cavalry Regiment Battlegroup, the situation has now clearly changed.

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“Following a detailed assessment of the risks by the operational chain of command, the decision has been taken by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of Defence Staff, in consultation with General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, to withdraw Prince Harry from Afghanistan immediately.

“This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier."

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