Iraqi protesters chant anti-Hezbollah slogans during slain al-Hashemi’s funeral march

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Mourners gathered in the Iraqi city of Najaf on Tuesday for the funeral of a well-known former government advisor and political analyst who was shot dead a day previously.

Hisham al-Hashemi, who had written about politics, ISIS, and the role of Iran-backed militias in Iraq was killed on Monday in a rare high-profile killing in the Iraqi capital, government officials, police sources and medics said.

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The funeral procession, accompanied by an orchestra, first marched towards the Imam Ali Shrine and later to the Wadi al-Salam cemetery where the burial took place.

Hashemi, who was well-connected with politicians, activists, and paramilitary officials, worked as an advisor to former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and informally with the government of current Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a government official said.

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Kadhimi issued a statement offering his condolences. Iraq’s state paramilitary organization, which is dominated by Iran-backed groups, called for an investigation of his death.

According to one Iraqi activist, al-Hashemi received death threats from Iraq’s Iran-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia about a month ago.

Al-Hashemi, 47, was killed Monday evening after three gunmen on two motorcycles fired at him from meters away near his home in the capital Baghdad. He was an authoritative voice on Sunni extremist factions including ISIS terror group but was also frequently consulted by media and foreign governments on domestic Iraqi politics and Shia armed groups.

(With Reuters)

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