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I don't want to alarm you.. but we expect to be overrun tonight ..we will be OK; FINAL EMAIL OF TRAGIC IRAQ BRITON.

Byline: By John Kelly

A BRITISH security guard killed by Iraqi rebels told pals: 'We expect to be overrun tonight.' Mike Bloss, 38, sent a final message by email hours before he died saving three civilian engineers.

He wrote: 'We may have to fight our way to a safe haven. But unfortunately, all the safe havens are already under attack.

'I don't wish to alarm you. We'll probably be OK! I'll email when I'm safe.'

Colleagues of the former Para, who served in Northern Ireland, said he died a hero.

He was gunned down on Thursday as he held off Iraqi fighters in the town of Hit, allowing the engineers to escape.

Mike, of Bridgend, Wales, worked for US security firm Custer Battles.

His brother Phil said: 'He probably went to Iraq looking for adventure. There was good money to be earned.'

Mike sent the email to a ski resort in Colorado where he worked until recently as an instructor for disabled children.

His boss there, Beth Fox, said: 'We begged him not to go to Iraq but he was a confident guy. He said, 'It's a job. I'll be OK. Don't worry about me'.'

Beth recalled: 'The nice thing about Mike was how he would create rapport with the students.

'He really cared about what they felt and what they thought.

'He wanted to help people share the feeling of wind in their hair.'

Mike's dad Peter Bloss said his son's body would probably not be flown back to Britain until Tuesday.

Violence continued to spread across Iraq yesterday, marking the first anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. Two US soldiers were killed in separate attacks in the capital.

The first died alongside an Iraqi driver when insurgents attacked a fuel convoy. The second soldier was killed in an attack on US base Camp Cook.

Troops also came under heavy attack in the town of Muqdadiyah.

Meanwhile, American forces regained control of the southern city of Kut from radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia. The rebels still control the city of Kufa and the central part of Najaf.

In Fallujah, a temporary ceasefire after five days of bloody fighting against Sunni insurgents allowed the dead to be taken away and buried.

Last night, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned of the deteriorating situation in Iraq, saying: 'The lid has come off the pressure cooker.'

As MPs demanded a recall of Parliament, Straw appealed to the US to try to establish talks with the Iraqis.

CAPTION(S):

SHOT DEAD: Mike Bloss
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 10, 2004
Words:421
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