Iraqi expert on armed groups shot dead in Baghdad

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Baghdad:  An Iraqi analyst who was a leading expert on the Islamic State and other armed groups was shot dead in Baghdad after receiving threats from Iran-backed militias.

Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Hisham al-Hashimi, 47, outside his home in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad on Monday, a family member said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons. The family member heard five shots fired.

Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Al-Hashimi was a well-connected security analyst who appeared regularly on Iraqi television and whose expertise was sought out by government officials, journalists and researchers.

Weeks before his death, al-Hashimi had told confidantes he feared Iran-backed militias were out to get him. Friends had advised him to flee to the northern city of Irbil, in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

He rose to prominence as an expert on the inner workings of IS and even advised the U.S.-led coalition during its yearslong battle with the extremists.

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