Doctors at Oakland Hospital Treat Iraqi Boy Hurt in Bombing

From Associated Press

An Iraqi boy who was severely wounded in a schoolyard bombing is being treated here after a grueling 35-hour journey across three continents.

Doctors at Children's Hospital and Research Center, led by chief surgeon James Betts, say that although Saleh Khalaf, 9, has an "excellent chance" of surviving, he remains in critical condition after suffering extensive injuries in the bomb blast last month. Saleh's 16-year-old brother was killed in the attack, which took place in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

Saleh was initially treated at a local Iraqi hospital for his injuries, which included traumatic amputation of his right hand, severe injury to his left hand, a ruptured left eye, and shrapnel and burn injuries on his abdomen, chest and face.

He was eventually transferred to Tallis Air Base in Iraq and then moved to Children's Hospital after a request from the U.S. Air Force.

The hospital has a long history of treating severely injured children.

Saleh, accompanied by his father, Raheem Saad Khalaf, arrived in Oakland about 1 a.m. Monday after a trip that included stops in Germany and Washington, D.C., and at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, midway between Sacramento and San Francisco.

Doctors do not know how long Saleh will remain at the hospital.

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