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Monday, May 31, 1999 Published at 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK


Times reporter leaves hospital

Eve-Ann Prentice outside the hospital in Prizren

A UK journalist injured in an apparent Nato air strike in Kosovo has left hospital, it has been confirmed.

The newspaper's correspondent Eve-Ann Prentice escaped from the attack, in which one person died, with only "light injuries".

The Times later said Mrs Prentice had decided to return to Belgrade and had sent a short satellite message to her colleagues.

Kosovo: Special Report
Defence Minister John Spellar first revealed Mrs Prentice had left hospital at Monday's Ministry of Defence briefing.

Nato had begun an investigation to determine if it had bombed the two-vehicle convoy of Western journalists travelling from Prizren to Brezovica, he said.

Driver and interpreter Nebojsa Radojevic, 28, died in the missile attack. Two other journalists were injured.

Mr Spellar told the Ministry of Defence briefing: "With regard to the journalist, we regret injuries to civilians and particularly those journalists who in difficult circumstances are trying to report the truth from Kosovo."

The Times' Simon Pearson: Apparently Mrs Prentice's injuries are not too serious
The defence minister also declined to comment on responsibility for the deaths of 11 people at a sanatorium in south east Serbia.

"I understand that Nato are conducting an investigation and will be making a statement later," he said.

Balkans veteran

The Times said it would consider whether Mrs Prentice should now return to Britain or remain in Yugoslavia to report the conflict.

"There are no immediate plans to pull her back, it depends on her physical condition and her own wishes," a spokesman said.

"We will consult with her when she gets to Belgrade, which will not be until tomorrow."

Brits in Balkans
Her husband, Pat, said Yugoslavia's Deputy Prime Minister Vuk Draskovic, a friend of the correspondents, was keeping them informed of her condition.

Mr Prentice, who also works at The Times, said: "She has been in Bosnia, Croatia, Sarajevo, she has been everywhere. She is a veteran in the Balkans."

Former husband Pat Prentice: The missile struck near the car
Mr Prentice, who was married to her for 23 years, said she has been fighting cancer since she was 17 years old. Her last operation to beat breast cancer was 18 months ago, he said.

"We are still trying to get through to the hospital," he said. "We keep getting told she wasn't badly injured, but we just don't know."

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