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Iraqi activist shot dead in Basra, protests rage

Basra activist shot dead
Security forces investigate a vehicle at the site of the assassination of Soad al-Ali, who has been involved in organizing protests demanding better services in the city, in the southern city of Basra, Iraq, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Nabil)

Protests resumed in Basra on Wednesday as masked gunmen shot dead a human rights activist and mother of four outside a supermarket on Tuesday.

Soad Al Ali, who had been involved in organizing protests demanding better services in the city, died instantly after she got shot by the gunmen who fled the scene as she and her husband were about to get in their car.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Ali’s murder has worsened tensions in the southern city that has been boiling with protests in recent weeks against the lack of basic public services and contaminated water.

Earlier this month, protests turned violent when demonstrators attacked and torched government offices, the headquarters of the Iranian-backed militias and Iran's consulate in Basra in a show of anger over perceiving as Iran's outsized control over local affairs.

Protesters are demanding justice for Ali, basic services and the release of those detained in previous demonstrations as dozens of citizens and activists have been arrested over the protests.

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