London: Britain's Prince Harry would soon return to combat duty in Afghanistan as he has been cleared as an Apache helicopter pilot, says a report.

The 26 year old prince, now a British Army captain, spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2008. But his stay in Army was cut short. It is now understood that he is keen to return to his country.

A royal family spokesman said that Harry's deployment would be a matter for the army to decide  when his final training comes to an end in 2012.

“Harry is an army pilot and will be deployed wherever the army chooses to send him. His term finishes in 2012 and after that his deployment will be a matter for the army chain of command,” he said.

However ,a spokesman of ministry of defense  has not either confirmed or denied the report. “We cannot comment on the deployment of individual service personnel” he said.

But reports say that top defense officials and the queen have given permission for Harry to return to Afghanistan.

In 2008, the prince directed fighter jets to drop bombs on Taliban positions in Helmand.

But his deployment ended abruptly when websites broke a media ban and reported details of his presence.

When asked about what his aim would be after qualifying as an Apache pilot, the prince said, ”My goal is to serve my country like everybody else in the British forces. I consider myself very, very lucky to have the chance to fly helicopters and even luckier to have the chance to fly the Apache. It's a fantastic piece of kit, it's like flying a robot.”

(Agencies)