Prince Harry joins Gurkhas: Report

Britain’s Prince Harry has joined one of the most fearsome units in the British Army the Gurkhas according to a report (AP Photo)

KATHMANDU: Britain’s Prince Harry has joined one of the most fearsome units in the British Army, the Gurkhas, and is undergoing intensive training with the legendary brigade.

The prince, 22, who is currently serving as an officer in the posh cavalry regiment, the Blues and Royals, is taking part in intensive training with the legendary unit to improve his fighting skills.

He is reportedly undergoing a four-day exercise with the 3rd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.

At the end of the exercise, Harry, a 2nd lieutenant whose own unit has gone to Iraq without him because of fears for his safety, will be presented with an honorary kukri the curved knife of the Gurkhas.

“Harry will be told that when the kukri leaves its sheath it can never be returned without blood being drawn.” a media report quoted an insider as saying.

The British Ministry of Defence would not comment on the princes current whereabouts but military sources suggested he was taking part in a special operation with the Gurkhas, the media reported.

The Gurkhas, renowned for their bravery and strength, have been recruited by the British Army for more than 200 years. They were first enlisted to fight against uprisings in India in the eighteenth century.

The British Army currently has around 3,400 Gurkhas serving in countries including Iraq and Afghanistan, with 250 new recruits annually.

Meanwhile, ending the seven years of relentless campaign and legal battle of former Gurkhas, the British government has announced equal pension to Gurkha soldiers.

According to Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen’s Organisation (GAESO) official, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made the announcement during his address to the parliament.

PTI Jul 9, 2007, 07.27pm IST

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