Prince Harry has revealed he killed “people trying to do bad stuff” during his latest army deployment to Afghanistan, saying had to “take a life to save a life”.

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But the 28-year-old royal – who has just finished a four month tour of the country serving as an Apache helicopter pilot – insisted his work was more to serve as a “deterrent” and protect his comrades.

Before leaving Afghanistan, the prince was asked if he had killed anyone. He said: “Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount.

“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game.

“We fire when we have to, take a life to save a life, but essentially we’re more of a deterrent than anything else.

“Our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground. Now if that means shooting at someone who’s shooting at them, then we’ll do it.”

Harry also recalled receiving a “reality check” when a Taliban attack on Camp Bastion took place on his birthday, 15 September, within days of his arrival in Afghanistan.

He added: “Obviously the papers back home were like ‘This is all against me’. No-one really knows yet. But either way, this camp is in the middle of Afghanistan and it should be expected to be attacked at any point… and it was on my birthday, so it was a bit of a reality check.”