Iraqis mourn expert on armed groups killed by unknown gunmen

Mourners pray carry the coffin of slain Iraqi expert Hisham Al-Hashemi, who was shot dead yesterday outside his house in the Iraqi capital, before his burial on July 7, 2020 in Najaf in central Iraq. (AFP)
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Updated 07 July 2020

Iraqis mourn expert on armed groups killed by unknown gunmen

  • Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Hisham Al-Hashimi outside his home in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad
  • Al-Hashimi was a well-connected security analyst

BAGHDAD: 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-Hashimi, 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.
Al-Hashimi, a leading expert on Daesh 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 powerful Kataib Hezbollah group, suspected of orchestrating the attacks. All but one detainees were released days later.
Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said Iraqi security forces would “spare no effort” in pursuing Al-Hashimi’s killers.

Hours after Al-Hashimi’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 Al-Hashimi’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.

 

 


Czech Republic to resume flights to Egypt

Updated 52 min ago

Czech Republic to resume flights to Egypt

  • Flights will operate from Prague to the cities of Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam
  • Several countries have relaunched tourist visits to Egypt after a halt due to the coronavirus

CAIRO: The Czech Republic will resume tourist flights to Egypt from Oct. 1.
Jan Fulik, the Czech ambassador to Egypt, confirmed the move during a meeting with Egyptian Tourism Minister Khaled Al-Anani.
Al-Anani is visiting Sharm el-Sheikh with aviation and environment ministers, along with 30 foreign envoys, to celebrate World Tourism Day.
Fulik said this decision to resume tourist flights follows Al-Anani’s visit to the Czech capital Prague last August for discussions with government officials on boosting tourism in Egypt.
Flights will operate from Prague to the cities of Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam, and reservations for trips have begun on online booking sites.
Al-Anani said he appreciated the efforts of Said Hindam, the Egyptian ambassador to Prague, to improve links between the two countries, and offered an assurance that Egypt would take precautionary measures in tourist governorates to protect visitors.
Several countries have relaunched tourist visits to Egypt after a halt due to the coronavirus.
France will resume trips to Egyptian coastal cities from October.
Germany is considering resuming flights, with one official saying Egypt has “special priority” because of the country’s popularity with German tourists.