NEWS

Cypriots join forces to save girl

NICOSIA (AP) – In a humanitarian gesture bridging three decades of division on Cyprus, 500 Greek-Cypriot army conscripts donated blood samples yesterday to try to find a bone marrow donor for a 5-year-old Turkish-Cypriot girl suffering from leukemia. More soldiers would give blood in the coming days, Cyprus National Guard commander Lt. Gen. Athanassios Nikolodemos said after watching donors at a military hospital. Hundreds of civilians were also lining up to give blood samples at a hotel housing UN peacekeepers in the buffer zone dividing the Mediterranean island. «This is a touching humanitarian act rising above military confrontation and hostile actions and statements,» Nikolodemos said. Organizers said nearly 10,000 people have already donated blood since an appeal was made eight days ago to save the life of Jale Sakaoglu, who is suffering from leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant urgently. Last year 90,000 Cypriots donated blood to save the lives of two boys, one Greek and one Turkish Cypriot.