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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Baghdad blogger re-appears
Statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down, AP
The fall of Saddam has changed life for many Iraqis

An Iraqi web logger knocked offline by the war in Iraq has resurfaced.

During the early days of the conflict, the Dear Raed web log was avidly read by thousands of web users keen to find out how it was changing the lives of ordinary Iraqis.

Now the conflict is over the web log, or blog, has re-appeared to give people another intimate glimpse of life during wartime.

To make up for the days when he could not post, the Dear Raed web logger has updated his journal with 15 entries covering the invasion of Baghdad and the immediate aftermath.

Baghdad calling

Salam Pax became well-known among web users in the opening weeks of the Iraq conflict for his web log.

The web log stopped being updated on 24 March as the war approached Baghdad and electrical power and telephone lines were knocked out.

But even throughout the days when he could not get his words on to the internet, the man behind Dear Raed has been recording his thoughts and this week managed to get them on to the web.

US soldier manning a machine gun, AP
When the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don't think about your 'imminent liberation' anymore
Salam Pax

"War sucks big time. Don't let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom," reads one of the most recent entries.

The new entries detail what life has been like in Baghdad as American troops approached, entered and took over the capital.

The blog details several narrow escapes that Salam, his friends and relations have suffered.

While Baghdad was being regularly bombed, Salam's home was regularly hit by shrapnel from bombs that destroyed nearby, and thankfully empty, houses.

Salam himself had a close encounter with edgy US troops in which he had to talk himself out of trouble.

In early April Salam wrote: "At the moment the US/UK are not winning any battle to 'win the heart and mind' of this individual. No matter which way this will go my life will end up more difficult."

'City destroyed'

As the Americans entered the city, the conflict came much closer as Fedayeen fighters took to hiding in residential areas as a cover for their attacks on US troops.

Bomb damage in Baghdad, AP
The conflict has laid waste to large parts of Baghdad

Salam said the result was usually many dead Iraqi civilians when Fedayeen sniper fire or a missile attack was answered by an overwhelming response by US soldiers.

Many Fedayeen fighters were chased away by ordinary Iraqis who did not want them hiding in their neighbourhood and attracting the attention of US troops.

Since the conflict ended, life in Baghdad has not got any easier and Salam laments the damage that the bombing has done which has only been continued by looters.

Looters are apparently now stealing number plates off cars so they can use them on another vehicle that has been stolen and has no registration plate of its own. Using a number plate, albeit stolen, hides the fact that the vehicle bearing it has also been stolen.

"To see your city destroyed before your own eyes is not a pain that can be described and put to words," he wrote, "the American Government is getting as many curses as the Iraqi."

"Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don't think about your 'imminent liberation' anymore," he wrote.

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