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Prince Harry Calls Killings of HALO Trust Staff in Afghanistan an 'Act of Barbarism'

People logo People 6/10/2021 Stephanie Petit
Prince Harry wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Prince Harry © Provided by People Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Prince Harry

Prince Harry is speaking out against an attack by an armed group at a mine clearance camp in Afghanistan.

Ten members of The HALO Trust (Hazardous Area Life-support Organization), which works to remove debris left behind by war, were killed in Afghanistan and another 16 were injured in the attack on Tuesday. Prince Harry has worked with the organization on multiple occasions and visited a HALO Trust mine site in Angola in 2019 - 22 years after his late mother Princess Diana's poignant walk through a minefield in the same country.

Prince Harry wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Prince Harry

"In all, 26 members of The HALO Trust's Afghanistan team were killed or injured on Tuesday night in what was nothing less than an act of barbarism," he said in a statement released Thursday. "I honour those who have been lost and encourage support for the survivors and the families of those affected."

"Those who work for HALO in Afghanistan face risks every day to remove the lasting - and still deadly - scars of war and conflict," continued Harry, 36. "The men who were attacked come from the very communities in which they work. They joined HALO to protect and restore their country and their homes. As I understand it, the deminers who lost their lives were also protecting their friends."

RELATED: Prince Harry Follows in Mom Princess Diana's Footsteps by Visiting Angola Landmine Field


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Prince Harry added, "These workers put their lives on the line every day to make the world a safer place. This brutal act reminds us that we must stand in solidarity with humanitarian aid workers and the communities they serve. I would urge all of HALO's supporters across the world to rally to their cause and help in any way they can."

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During his 2019 visit to Africa with Meghan Markle and their son Archie, Harry gave a speech about the importance of clearing landmines in the context of conservation and for humanitarian reasons.

"This historic commitment is a key step forward for the movement to rid the world of mines and lay the foundation for a safe and just future for the next generation," he said. "Landmines are an unhealed scar of war. By clearing the landmines, we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity."

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Prince Harry also went to Huambo, the place where his mother walked through a minefield in 1997. It is now a vibrant community with several colleges, schools and small businesses. A tree, dubbed The Diana Tree, marks the spot where she was photographed during her visit.

Prince Harry's statement comes less than a week after he welcomed his daughter, named Lilibet "Lili" Diana in tribute to Queen Elizabeth Princess Diana, with Meghan.

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