(SERBIA) Milena Dokmanovic (born 1984) was injured in a cluster attack on Nis in May 1999. She still has a 1 cm long fragment in her skull and one in her leg. (Photo: Ivan Petrovic/Norwegian People's Aid)
Milena was playing with her neighbors in Ljube Nenadovica Street when the planes came. She got scared, ran around the front yard of her house, looking for her mom Sladjana. Her mother was running towards her, screaming, with blood running from her legs and arms. Milena fell down and lost consciousness.
Sladjana fell down on her knees, unable to walk because of the blood loss and the wounds on her legs. “I thought that was the end. I thought that they were firing from machine guns; you could see bullets flying in all directions, piercing the walls, the fences, everything. I had no idea that bombs could do that, I have never heard of cluster bombs before that day. Later on, we saw that six bombs had exploded in the front yard.”
In the years after she was injured, Milena experienced fear, uncertainty, anxiety and shame. Even today, she hesitates to talk about the event. “I feel marked by the whole thing. My whole family does. It horrifies me to think that there have been many, many more children that have suffered because of these bombs in other places and countries, too.”