A high-ranking commander of the Iraqi pro-government Kata’ib Hezbollah force has been killed after a group of unidentified armed men opened fire on his vehicle in the country’s southern oil-rich city of Basra.
A security source told Arabic-language Mawazin news agency on Thursday that Bassem al-Safi sustained grave gunshot wounds the previous evening, when gunmen sprayed his car with bullets in the Hayaniya neighborhood of the city.
Safi, a former representative of Basra Provincial Council, later succumbed to his wounds in hospital.
Another person accompanying the deceased Kata’ib Hezbollah commander was also injured in the drive-by shooting, the source said.
Kata’ib Hezbollah is part of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units, which are better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi.
Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters joined forces with Iraqi army soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga forces in a major operation on October 17, 2016 to retake the strategic northern city of Mosul from Daesh militantss.
The pro-government fighters also played a major role in the liberation of Tikrit, located 140 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baghdad, as well as Fallujah city in the western province of al-Anbar among many areas in Iraq.