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Syrian anti-IS activist shot in the head in Turkey

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the assault on Ahmad Abdel Qader, the latest in a string of attacks on activists in Turkey
33-year-old Abdel Qader, a Syrian refugee living in Turkey, documented violations committed by Islamic State (Facebook)

Gunmen shot a prominent Syrian activist and journalist in the head in southern Turkey, activists said on Monday. 

Ahmad Abdel Qader, 33, was shot multiple times by two people on a motorcycle late on Sunday while he was inside a car in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa, a major hub for Syrian refugees, Turkey's Dogan news agency reported.

The IS-linked media outlet Amaq News Agency said on Monday that IS "fighters" had carried out the shooting in Sanliurfa, without giving further details.

According to activists, Qader – who belongs to the media collective Eye on the Homeland in Sanliurfa - is now out of surgery and is in a stable condition. However, the attack is only the latest in a string of incidents that have either killed or targeted anti-Islamic State group activists in Turkey.

Qader's brother Ibrahim, formerly executive director of Eye on the Homeland, and another man, Fares Hamadi, were found decapitated in a house in Sanliurfa in October 2015, in a crime claimed by IS.

In April this year, Syrian journalist Mohammed Zaher al-Shurqat was killed in the nearby city of Gaziantep in a murder also claimed by IS.

Another Syrian activist who produced documentaries hostile to IS, Naji Jerf, was shot dead in Gaziantep in December in a killing that sparked international concern.

Despite a flurry of crackdowns on the militants by Turkish authorities, IS still has a presence in Turkey and also controls parts of the Syrian side of the border, occasionally shelling Turkish towns from Syria. 

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