ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Unknown gunmen assassinated a professor at the University of Kirkuk who was reportedly preparing to run in the upcoming Iraqi elections, witnesses told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
Ali Yilmaz, a law school professor at the University of Kirkuk, was murdered when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car while he was driving on the highway in the Baghdad Road neighborhood, located in central Kirkuk.
Witnesses told Kurdistan 24 the attackers fled the scene after the assassination. No one has claimed responsibility for the violence yet.
Yilmaz, an ethnic Turkmen, was reportedly planning to run in the upcoming Iraqi elections on May 12, a source speaking on condition of anonymity said.
The assassination is one of many security incidents in the province in the past few days.
On Monday, an Iraqi Federal Police officer was killed in an improvised explosive device attack on a police patrol.
Six members of the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi were also killed on Monday by an armed group at a security checkpoint in Diyala Province.
Last October, the Iraqi government took unilateral control of Kirkuk in response to a referendum conducted by the Kurdistan Region on Sep. 25 which included the disputed region.
Since Iraqi forces and the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias took control of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city has experienced unprecedented security incidents including kidnappings, assassinations, and bombings.
During the Peshmerga’s administration of the city, however, the area was kept secure and safe from the dangers of the Islamic State, which at the time occupied parts of the province, especially Hawija and surrounding areas.