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Tuesday, June 1, 1999 Published at 00:32 GMT 01:32 UK


Times journalist 'amazed to be alive'

Eve-Ann Prentice escaped with "miraculously light injuries"

The UK journalist injured in what is believed to have been a Nato air strike in Kosovo has said she was amazed to find she was alive afterwards.

Kosovo: Special Report
Eve-Ann Prentice, a correspondent for The Times, survived the attack, in which one person died, with only "miraculously light injuries".

On Monday, it was revealed that Nato had begun an investigation to determine if it had bombed the two vehicle convoy of Western journalists, including Mrs Prentice, travelling from Prizren to Brezovica.

In Tuesday's edition of The Times, Mrs Prentice wrote: "The bomb exploded a few yards in front and to the left of me. That was the moment I thought I was dead.

Eve-Ann Prentice: We dived for cover but there was nowhere to hide
"I heard a phenomenal noise and thought it was the last thing I would hear on Earth. I was thrown to the ground, but then amazed when the thick grey-black smoke cleared and I was still alive."

Mrs Prentice said that she and her companions had left their cars and were walking across rubble near two recently-bombed mountain road tunnels in southwest Kosovo, close the Albanian and Macedonian borders, when they heard the jets diving towards them.

Brits in Balkans
She and a colleague tried to hide by the entrance of one of the tunnels.

"The sound of four explosions was hideously menacing. It seemed then as if the attack would never stop," she wrote.

Shortly after the bombing ended, Mrs Prentice and her colleague were picked up from the rubble by Yugoslav soldiers.

'Bizarre world'

"One smiled a big grin and hugged me like a father," she said.

They were taken to a village and treated with great hospitality.

She said: "In this bizarre world, minutes after being almost killed by Nato, we were being pampered, and calmed and fed by the very people who the alliance was trying to destroy."

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

Mrs Prentice suffered cuts and grazes to her legs, right arm and forehead in the attack.

Defence Minister John Spellar revealed at Monday's Ministry of Defence briefing that Mrs Prentice had left hospital. She was due to arrive in Belgrade on Tuesday.

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