Bosnian youngsters fly in for treatment : D-DAY IN BOSNIA

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Amela Kurtovic, a four-year-old Bosnian girl wounded by a shell blast, arrived in Britain yesterday for treatment that could save her leg.

With her was Lejla Ahmetstahic, a 13-year-old girl suffering from lymphatic cancer, whose plight was highlighted by the Independent last Saturday. They arrived at Heathrow after a two-day journey across Bosnia, along with Meliha Mulezinovic, 13, who requires urgent open-heart surgery.

Another lymphoma sufferer, a seven-year-old boy, was in the party, but was considered too ill to travel. Doctors hope he may fly to Britain today.

All three were brought to Britain by Child Advocacy International, a charity working in Bosnia, using funds raised by Lions Clubs International, the World Memorial Fund and Independent readers. "There was a time I thought treatment wouldn't be possible," said Lejla's mother, Murisa Ahmetstahic, from Gorazde. "It is a very nice Christmas present."

Lejla, who would have died if she had stayed in Bosnia,stands an 80 per cent chance of recovery. She will be treated at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital, while the other children are placed in hospitals across the north and the Midlands.