Iraqi state gas firm official shot dead in Kirkuk city – police

A general view of the north gas company on the outskirts of Kirkuk February 2, 2015. Production at an oilfield near the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk remained suspended on Monday after incurring severe damage during a weekend attack by Islamic State insurgents, Iraq’s oil minister said. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

Kirkuk (Reuters/ Gunmen shot dead a senior official of Iraq’s state-run North Gas Company (NGC) on Tuesday as he was heading to his office in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police and company sources said.

Deputy NGC manager Mohammed Younis, an Iraqi Kurd, and his driver were killed instantly when assailants in a speeding car fired on their vehicle, police sources said.

No claim of responsibility for the killings has been made.

Kirkuk has a mixed population of Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs. It has been under Kurdish control since June 2014, when Islamic State overran the northwest of the country and Iraqi security forces collapsed.

The Iraqi government have been repeatedly urged to expedite security efforts to liberate regions held by Islamic State in Kirkuk, but the government is currently employing its full military power to retake Mosul, IS’s biggest stronghold in Iraq.

The Iraqi government is expected to launch an offensive to retake IS-held areas in Kirkuk once it is done with eradicating IS from Mosul, the group’s biggest bastion in Iraq.

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