HUMAN shield Antoinette McCormick, speaking from war-torn Baghdad today, said the message to her from ordinary Iraqis had been: "We hate Bush, but we love Americans."

She believes they will resist when the Allies try to take Baghdad. "There is a strong feeling that this is their country and nobody else's business, and that they want the Government to be their choice."

The Evening Press managed to call the 38-year-old York woman after she had finished another shift as a human shield at a power plant in Baghdad.

The paper reported in later editions last night that Antoinette, who went into Iraq last week on a tourist visa, had made the decision to become a shield at the weekend after discovering she could go to locations with no military connections. Antoinette, whose parents John and Mairi live in Huntington Road, York, said she was staying in a "kind of dormitory" at the plant. Baghdad was bombed again last night by B52s, but about a mile-and-a-half away from the plant.

She and other shields hope they will deter Allied bombing of civilian installations by siting themselves there.

"Bush and Blair know where we are," she said, claiming that the Prime Minister had personally been handed details of the locations where shields were deploying.

She felt there was probably going to be a long siege of Baghdad, but asked the Evening Press to pass on a message to her parents that she felt she was going to be all right. "And please tell them I love them," she said.