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1993: Wounded Bosnian girl flown to UK
A five-year-old girl who was severely injured in the fighting in Bosnia has been flown to Britain for treatment.

Irma Hadzimuratovic whose suffering has come to symbolise the agony of Bosnia was taken to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.

She was seriously injured by a Serbian mortar bomb 10 days ago which killed her mother and 14 others in a market square in Bosnia's capital, Sarajevo.

Her trip here was delayed by red tape and she was close to death before the British Government arranged to fly her to the UK.

The RAF flew her out of Sarajevo with her father, Ramis, and three-year old sister.

The Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, said Britain had decided to act because Irma's condition was deteriorating rapidly.

"She obviously needs treatment that she can't possibly get in Sarajevo and it's very urgent and therefore procedures had to be cut through," Mr Hurd said.

Because you can't help everybody it doesn't mean you shouldn't help somebody
Douglas Hurd, Foreign Secretary
Three children a day are dying violent deaths in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

Dozens are waiting for emergency evacuation for medical treatment.

Mr Hurd said the government realised helping Irma would not reduce the scale of the problem.

"But because you can't help everybody it doesn't mean you shouldn't help somebody," Mr Hurd said.

Irma is expected to undergo a series of X-rays at Great Ormond Street Hospital over the next 24 hours to establish the extent of her injuries.

After an initial examination Dr Kathleen Wilkinson, a consultant paediatrician said the child was in a "stable but very sick" condition.

"The most serious problems are infection, possibly meningitis. She may also have recurrent abdominal problems," Dr Wilkinson said.

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Irma Hadzimuratovic
Irma was injured in a bombing in Sarajevo



In Context
After initially appearing to recover Irma Hadzimuratovic's condition once again deteriorated.

She underwent a total of 12 operations but remained paralyzed from the neck down and was unable to breathe unaided.

In April 1995 she died of septicaemia.

At the inquest a coroner said Irma was a "victim of war".

The war between Croats and Serbs in Bosnia - formerly part of Yugoslavia - continued until December 1995 when the Dayton peace accord was signed in Paris.

An international peacekeeping force was deployed, signalling the start of a new era for Bosnia.

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