29 FEBRUARY 2008

Click here to watch video coverage of Harry in Afghanistan

Army officials have decided to withdraw Prince Harry from Afghanistan after news leaked on Thursday that he'd been serving on the front line there since mid-December. They fear he's a prime target for the Taliban now his presence is known.

Cornet Wales, who was informed that he was being sent to war by his grandmother the Queen, was deployed to Afghanistan ten weeks ago. At the time a news blackout deal was struck between the media and the MOD. However, the Army was forced to speak out after a US website leaked the story on Thursday.

According to head of the Army Sir Richard Dannatt the Prince's conduct on operations has been "exemplary". "He is a credit to the nation," Sir Dannatt adds.

After the news of his Afghan role broke, Harry was moved for his own safety. And generals have apparently decided it's not safe for the young royal to continue his mission in dangerous Helmand Province - where he was originally hoping to stay until April.

It's thought Army officials may implement emergency procedures to remove the Prince from the war zone and return him to the UK - five weeks before his deployment was scheduled to end.

The 23-year-old, who was disappointed when his chance to serve in Iraq last year was cancelled amid security threats, has been involved in all aspects of life as a member of the Household Cavalry. He's been out on foot patrols and worked as a battlefield air controller. And the Prince has clearly revelled in the opportunity to be treated the same as everyone else. "It's nice just to be here with all the guys and just mucking in as one of the lads," he says.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also been quick to praise the young soldier prince, saying: "The whole of Britain will be proud of the outstanding service he is giving".

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Cornet Wales, as he is known in the Army, takes part in a patrol through a deserted town in Afghanistan All photos: © Getty Images, PA, Rex Click on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The 23-year-old Prince, who was deployed to dangerous Helmand Province, sits on a camp bed in the accommodation he's called home since December
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Harry, whose regiment is based alongside a Gurkha outfit, chats to one of its members
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