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High-ranking pro-Iranian militia commander shot dead in Iraq: report


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January 12, 2020

A high-ranking pro-Iranian militia commander was fatally shot in Iraq Saturday night, according to a Daily Mail report citing local media.

Taleb Abbas Ali al-Saedi, a top leader of the Popular Mobilization Forces, was killed in Karbala, a city in central Iraq, by “unidentified gunmen,” the outlet reported.

Popular Mobilization Forces is an umbrella organization of about 40 paramilitary groups mostly associated with Iran-backed Shiite militias. The organization is one of the major forces fighting ISIS in Iraq and alongside troops in Syria loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

The shooting comes amid rising tension between the US and Iran after an American drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani earlier this month.

Popular Mobilization Forces criticized the US for the attack, which also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, one of its leaders.

Iran retaliated to the US attack with missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing American military forces, which drew no casualties, according to President Trump.

Iranian protesters took to the streets of Tehran Saturday after their government acknowledged it unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian airliner on Wednesday, killing 176 people on board.

Demonstrators gathered at several universities for what began as a vigil but grew into a rally against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.