(AP) An Iraqi boy injured in crossfire and brought to Japan for eye surgery headed home Wednesday following treatment that had been arranged by two Japanese journalists who later were killed.
Mohamad Haytham Saleh, 10, had his sight partially restored in his damaged left eye, which had been pierced and blinded by shards of glass during a U.S. military strike on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in November.
Saleh had been unable to see with the eye, despite two operations in Baghdad. His plight had caught the attention of freelance journalist Shinsuke Hashida, 61, who arranged for a member of his local Rotary Club, a doctor, to treat him.
Hashida and his nephew, Kotaro Ogawa, 33, were supposed to bring the boy to Japan but both were killed in an attack south of Baghdad in May.
Following through on the arrangements by Hashida, the club in Numazu city sponsored Saleh to come to Japan with his father and paid for his medical care during their one-month stay.
Japanese doctors said they believed Saleh would eventually regain the use of his damaged eye.
Saleh and his father were scheduled to fly to Jordan, then drive across the border to their home in Fallujah, TBS television said.