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Diana and campaigner Ken Rutherford in Sarajevo

Diana Meets Landmine Victim in Bosnia

Diana, Princess of Wales, has met a victim of a landmine explosion in Bosnia, as part of her campaign to draw attention to the global problem of landmines.

In the Bosnian town of Tuzla, the princess spoke for 45 minutes with Franjo Kresic, a former soldier who lost his leg in a mine blast during the country's 1992-95 war. Diana emerged from a rundown apartment block smiling and waving at local children who had gathered to greet her.

She is in Bosnia as the guest of the Washington-based Landmine Survivors Network (LSN). The organisation's co-founder, Ken Rutherford, who was injured by a mine in Somlia in 1993, said: "Each month in Bosnia, there are up to 80 new mine casualties, many of whom are children."

Diana's visit has been described as "entirely private." She intends to go to the homes of land mine victims and meet local disability groups and rehabilitation specialists.

Many aid organisations working in the former Yugoslavia have welcomed her presence in a country where an estimated one-million mines were planted during the recent war.

An estimated million mines were planted in Bosnia

The Foreign Office gave its clearance for the trip, although the security implications will be kept under constant review. It is thought Diana will spend several days in Bosnia.

The Princess has angered many backbench MPs who feel she is straying into politics. Many observers believe her highly publicised trip to Angola in January influenced Labour's decision to announce a ban on landmines.

The LSN was started in 1995

Security for the Princess will be intense because of the involvement of the SAS in the killing of a suspected Bosnian Serb war criminal and the arrest of another in Prijedor last month. It is thought that she won't visit Bosnian Serb territory.

Journalists covering the trip have been told they will have to travel in unidentified vehicles and will not be given prior notice of the daily arrangements.


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Diana, Princess of Wales, 1961-1997

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