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IRAQI JOY AS BAGHDAD FALLS

PUBLISHED: 11:38 09 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

CHEERING Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad today after Saddam Hussein's regime melted away in the face of the Allied onslaught.

There were scenes of joy across the city as civilians celebrated what they clearly saw as their liberation day after decades of repression.

CHEERING Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad today after Saddam Hussein's regime melted away in the face of the Allied onslaught.

There were scenes of joy across the city as civilians celebrated what they clearly saw as their liberation day after decades of repression.

"Come see, this is freedom ... this is the criminal, this is the infidel," said one elderly man as he beat a poster of Saddam with his shoe - an Arab insult.

"This is the destiny of every traitor ... he killed millions of us. Oh people, this is freedom,'' he said.

Cheering looters plundered anything they could carry from official buildings after regime officials and police disappeared overnight.

They fled after Allied bombs struck a restaurant where Saddam was thought to be meeting with other regime leaders, prompting renewed speculation he was dead.

US marines were greeted with flowers and applause as they made their way through the east of the city this morning and reporters in the centre said regime officials and police officers were nowhere to be found.

But Allied commanders were cautious about today's dramatic developments.

They also warned that the war - and the battle for Baghdad - were "far from over".


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