British TV to screen Prince Harry Afghanistan kidnap drama

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A British television channel is to screen a drama documentary this month based on what might happen if Prince Harry were captured by insurgents in Afghanistan.

Harry, 26, third in line to the throne and an British military officer, has served one tour of duty in Afghanistan and made no secret of his desire to return.

Channel 4 television is to show a 90-minute film called "The Taking Of Prince Harry" on October 21.

The programme shows an actor playing the prince being held behind enemy lines while negotiations are carried out to free him.

During the film, an unloaded gun is pointed in his face before a captor pulls the trigger, while he is also forced to appear in Taliban and Al-Qaeda propaganda.

It includes scenes where Harry is confronted by a British-born radical Islamist and details how the British government's approach to hostage negotiations differs from other nations.

Britain has a consistent policy of refusing to pay hostage ransom demands.

The programme features contributions from former hostages and intelligence experts.

Hamish Mykura, Channel 4's head of documentaries, said there was "no doubt" that Harry would be at risk if he returned to Afghanistan."

"I think it is just wrong to say that this would create a new idea that wasn't there already," he said.

"In the film we mentioned that his nickname when he was there last was 'Bullet Magnet' and we know that there were quite a lot of reports and stories of jihadi websites saying he should be the number one target."

He said Buckingham Palace had been informed but had not responded.

The palace declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

In February 2008, Harry returned from Afghanistan after completing more than two months' active service with the British Army.

As an armoured reconnaissance troop leader, he served as a forward air controller, calling in air strikes.

Harry, known as Lieutenant Wales within the military, is training to become a helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps, flying an Apache attack chopper.

© 2010 AFP

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