Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraqis Mourn Expert on Armed Groups Killed by Unknown Gunmen

Iraqis Mourn Expert on Armed Groups Killed by Unknown Gunmen

Tuesday, 7 July, 2020 - 11:30
Mourners carry the flag-draped coffin of Hisham al-Hashemi during his funeral, in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, July, 7, 2020. (AP)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iraqi mourners and relatives on Tuesday carried the body of a respected analyst shot and killed the previous night in Baghdad after receiving threats from Iran-backed militias. Many Iraqis expressed their shock over the slaying.

Hisham al-Hashemi, 47, was gunned down on Monday night outside his home in Baghdad's Zeyouneh neighborhood. His casket, draped in the Iraqi flag, was taken to his family home before being driven to the burial site.

Hashemi, a leading expert on the ISIS group and other militant organization, was a regular fixture on Iraqi television and his expertise was often sought by government officials, journalists and researchers.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the killing, which comes weeks after he confided to close friends that he had received threats from militia groups. The slaying also coincides with a spate of rocket attacks targeting US interests that has been blamed on Iran-backed armed groups.

Authorities launched a raid last week in Baghdad, in which they detained 14 members of the Kataib Hezbollah group, suspected of orchestrating the attacks. All but one of the detainees were released days later.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said Iraqi security forces would “spare no effort” in pursuing Hashemi's killers.

Hours after Hashemi's killing, authorities fired the top police officer for Zeyouneh and launched an investigation into his activities, according to an order from the prime minister's office, seen by The Associated Press.

Condemnations from Iraqi officials poured in as shock reverberated across the country at the news of Hashemi's killing.

Nechirvan Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, said “authorities must find the perpetrators of this terror act and bring them to justice,” in a tweet on Tuesday.

Editor Picks