KIRKUK, Iraq, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Unidentified gunmen on Sunday shot dead a local senior official in the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, a local police source told Xinhua.
Udai Salih al-Obeidi, a member of the town council of al-Rashad, some 30 km south of Kirkuk, was killed when gunmen opened fire at him in al-Khadraa district in the city of Kirkuk, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Iraqi security forces arrived at the scene after the attack and launched an investigation into the incident, the source said.
The ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, is part of the disputed areas between the central government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.
Disagreements between Baghdad and the Kurdish region have been high for years, as the ethnic Kurds consider the northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk and parts of Nineveh, Diyala and Salahudin provinces as disputed areas and want them to be incorporated into their region, a move fiercely opposed by the Arabs and Turkomans and by Baghdad government.
In mid-October, the Iraqi federal security forces took control of Kirkuk province, including its oil oilfields and military bases, after the withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Since then, the city witnessed attacks by gunmen against the Iraqi forces and civilians from time to time, while the western and southern part of the oil-rich Kirkuk province have been witnessing attacks by remnants of Islamic State militants.