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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 19:51 GMT
MoD dismisses Harry 'speculation'
Prince Harry on parade
Prince Harry graduated from Sandhurst last April
The Ministry of Defence has dismissed as "entirely speculative" claims that Prince Harry is to be deployed to Iraq.

The Daily Mirror has reported that the 22-year-old will join British troops in Basra by the end of this month.

The paper says he will take charge of 11 soldiers from his regiment, the Blues and Royals, performing reconnaissance work in the desert.

But a spokesman for the MoD said the final decision had not yet been made about the next units destined for Iraq.

He added that Parliament would be informed before the public.

Troop Commander

Prince Harry graduated from Sandhurst in April last year, becoming a 2nd Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry.

His passing out parade was inspected by his grandmother, the Queen, and witnessed by other members of the Royal Family including his father Prince Charles and brother William.

Prince William has also graduated from Sandhurst since then, passing out in December.

Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle at the Army's Armour Centre, Allenby Barracks, Bovington near Wareham, Dorset
Prince Harry is trained to use the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle

Harry qualified as an armoured reconnaissance troop leader in October and is able to lead 11 men and four light armoured Scimitar tanks.

He is known to his colleagues as Troop Commander Wales.

At the time of his passing out, senior officer Maj Gen Sebastian Roberts said it was "eminently possible" the young royal could find himself serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Security tightened

Security has recently been stepped up in both Basra and Baghdad in an effort to bring peace to the cities and stem the bloodshed.

All border crossings with Iran have been closed and road checkpoints reinforced to try to crack down on supply routes used by insurgents.

If deployed Harry would be the latest in a long line of royals to see active service with the military.

Most recently, his uncle Prince Andrew was a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War and his grandfather Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy during World War II.




SEE ALSO
Harry joins the Blues and Royals
08 May 06 |  Berkshire
Profile: Prince Harry
15 Sep 05 |  UK

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