Harry to be pulled out of Afghanistan immediately

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London, Feb 29 (UNI) Britain's Prince Harry is to be pulled out of Afghanistan ''immediately'' after details of his secret deployment were broadcast around the world, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided.

Terming the decision ''regrettable'', the MoD said in a statement, ''It was taken not just for Prine Harry's own safety but for the safety of the soldiers that serve alongside him.'' ''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,'' it said.

''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,'' the statement said.

Military chiefs are now making final preparations to remove the Prince from the front line and fly him back to the country.

The move follows fears that Harry could become a target for Taliban fighters in the region, now that the news of his deployment has been leaked.

In an interview last week, Harry conceded that on his return to Britain, he could be a ''top target'' for homegrown jihadists sympathetic to the Taliban.

''Once this comes out, every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me,'' he said.

The news of Harry's deployment was leaked out on the US website the Drudge Report, following which the MoD confirmed that the 23-year-old had spent the past ten weeks secretly serving in war-ravaged Helmand Province.

UNI XC SKB KN1909

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