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Thursday, April 28, 2005
  Clanking Brass Balls
Belgian Doctors Bill U.S. for Treating Iraqi Girl - Yahoo! News: "BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian doctors sent an Iraqi girl home on Thursday after treating her for leg wounds caused by a bomb during the U.S. invasion -- and sent the 51,570 euro ($66,650) bill to the U.S. embassy.

'We haven't heard from them yet,' said Bert De Belder, coordinator of the humanitarian agency Medical Aid for Third World which brought the girl to Belgium.

'I'm curious to know their reaction,' he told Reuters. 'We're giving them 10 days to respond ... I don't think they will pay it.'

The girl, 15-year-old Hiba Kassim, smiled to reporters as she waited for her flight to Jordan to meet her father.

'Thank you, Belgium,' she said.

Doctors brought Kassim to Belgium last year to try to save her left ankle, seriously injured by a cluster bomb that also killed her brother in Baghdad in 2003.

After five operations and weeks of physiotherapy, Kassim is able to walk again, but with a slight limp.

De Belder said he sent the bill to the U.S. embassy because international law dictated that an occupying force was responsible for the well-being of the country's people. U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available for comment. ($1=.7737 Euro)"
 
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