'They did to us what they do to the people every day'

Emma Daly describes the attack on Sarajevo's press corps
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The Independent Online
"We were just very, very lucky," said Faridoun Hemani, speaking in hospital. His right eye was covered with a thick bandage. Beside him sat Hana Prguda, a colleague on Worldwide Television News. Her face was swollen and marked by sharp cuts, her right eye flickering closed, her left thickly bandaged.

The Bosnian Serbs struck at the heart of the Sarajevo press corps yesterday, bringing the war to the media in the way they do to Bosnians every day. They marked St Vitus Day (their army's patron) by firing at least two modified aircraft bombs, described by the UN as indiscriminate weapons of terror, at western Sarajevo. The attacks killed eight and wounded 46, many of the latter journalists at the television centre.

"I heard a sound and like idiots we all went to the windows," Ms Prguda said. Then the warhead exploded. "I didn't feel anything, it was black all around. I just opened my eyes and I was covered in blood. You have no idea what is happening: are you alive, are you dead, and things are crashing all around. Finally all I could see were the walls - there was no office."

Mr Hemani is waiting to hear whether he will regain his sight. "The good sign is that I can move my eye-ball," he said.

As Mr Hemani said, the press corps was lucky; the blast killed a Bosnian policeman on duty in the television centre lobby.

Most of the injuries came from flying glass. Dave Albritton, who works for CNN, was sitting on the stairs, bleeding from his throat and his arms as colleagues rushed to bring the wounded out. He lost a lot of blood, and French doctors feared he might lost the use of his hands.

We waited anxiously for news of friends and colleagues. The AP staff reported that Eldar Emric had a punctured lung, but would be all right and that Asja Resavac, with a head wound, would also recover. Then CNN found out that Mr Albritton's operation had been a success and he would regain full use of his hands.

Across the street, meanwhile, another aircraft bomb crashed into the side of a tall apartment block, completely destroying three floors, killing four people and wounding 16. A woeful procession of residents straggled out of the block hours later carrying the few possessions salvaged from damaged flats.