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Blogging Baghdad aims to provide a dynamic look at the story behind the story of covering the news in Iraq. Online entries – from text to video blogs – will detail the realities of daily life for ordinary Iraqis, American troops and the media living and working in a 24 hour war zone.

Regular contributors include NBC News correspondents, producers and staff on assignment in Iraq.

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Iraqi police lead Baghdad patrol

Increasingly, U.S. combat troops are becoming de-facto advisors to the fledgling Iraqi National Police force. An NBC News team was recently embedded with C Troop, 1-14 Cavalry as the troopers accompanied, usually in the rear, about 100 National Police officers on a house-to-house search for gunmen and weapons in the dangerous Dora neighborhood, south of Baghdad.

This was the first time Iraqi police actually led a mission from its inception. At a time when U.S. forces are accelerating efforts to hand over battle space to the Iraqis, Sgt. Charles Smith told NBC News that the operation went well, despite some communication problems.

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VIDEO: As U.S. forces accelerate efforts to hand over power to the Iraqi National Police force, an NBC News team went on the first mission lead from start to finish by Iraqi forces.

No big weapons caches - or insurgents - were found on this day. But in another neighborhood, a similar joint operation turned up a large cache, and freed an Iraqi hostage, held by kidnappers.

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