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LIFE IN KATE'S HANDS; TV reporter saves Albanian.

TV reporter Kate Adie eases the agony of a sniper victim as his life ebbs away on the streets of Kosovo yesterday.

The BBC veteran was caught up in the shooting drama as it was revealed that the Serb reign of terror has left at least 10,000 dead in 100 massacres. Kate comforted the critically-wounded Albanian and went to hospital with him.

"He was screaming and in obvious pain from the bullet which had struck him in the stomach," she said. The BBC

unit was on the dangerous streets of Kosovo's capital Pristina when the Albanian, named as 29-year-old Hamdi Ahmeti, was shot in broad daylight while in his car.

A BBC medic gave him emergency treatment, including a drip in his arm, while Kate held his hand.

"We turned him over to check whether the bullet had exited from the back but it was still lodged inside him," she said.

When an ambulance arrived the Albanian suddenly became terrified and clung to Kate and the medic.

"He refused to let go so we had to go to the hospital with him," she said. At hospital Kate discovered the reason for his fear - all the doctors are Serbs.

She added: "They seemed totally indifferent to his plight and when we tried to explain the circumstances they weren't interested in the slightest."

The BBC contacted the Parachute Regiment who sent their own doctor to the hospital under armed escort to make sure the wounded man received proper treatment.

His condition was described as "critical but stable."

The victim had been driving a car with a registration plate from a city in Serbia and it was unclear whether he was shot by an Albanian who mistook him for a Serb - or by a Serb.

Meanwhile, Nato forces continued to uncover the grisly secrets of war-shattered Kosovo, including a horrifying torture chamber at Serb police headquarters in Pristina.

Foreign Office Minister Geoff Hoon said the almost hourly discovery of Serb atrocities had sent the death toll soaring.

"So far we estimate 10,000 people have been killed in more than 100 massacres," he said.

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told shocked MPs: "In village after village where our troops have entered to provide security, they have been confronted by the most harrowing evidence of the atrocities committed against the people of Kosovo."

A 15-strong team of British police experts had been given the job of exhuming the mass graves and recording the causes of death.

Mr Cook promised: "We will spare no effort to record meticulously every atrocity."

The Foreign Secretary is expected to visit Pristina, Skopje in Macedonia and Albania's capital Tirana next week.

He will meet Kosovo Albanian leaders and senior KLA freedom fighters while trying to reassure the Serbs that the peacekeeping force is there to protect them as well.

Mr Cook told the Commons: "Having fought this campaign to halt ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians, we will not now tolerate ethnic cleansing of the Serb population in Kosovo, or any other ethnic minority. We must break the cycle of violence."
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Arnold, Harry
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 18, 1999
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