Afghan girl returns home after successful bullet-removing operation

Tokyo, September 12, 2004 - A 13-year-old Afghan girl left Japan to return home Sunday following a successful operation to remove a bullet lodged in her head during crossfire in her war-torn homeland.

Fatema Safar was hit by a stray bullet during fighting when she was five years old. The bullet, embedded near the top of her nose, caused her chronic headaches. She arrived in Japan in July to be treated by Japanese doctors, who removed the rusty, 3-centimeter (1.2-inch) bullet in surgery last month.

Lead surgeon, Testuo Hara, from Tokyo's International Medical Center of Japan had said that Safar was expected to make a full recovery. Safar, who was accompanied by her mother, Marzia, was brought to Japan by a Tokyo-based aid group, Aid for War Orphans in Asia which raised 4 million yen (US$36,000) through donations for the treatment.