City council chief shot dead in Kirkuk
Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have shot dead the city council chief of Kirkuk.
Iraqi police said on Tuesday that Munir al-Qafili, a well-known and respected official, was killed in his vehicle on a road in the center of the northern city.
According to Kirkuk's deputy police chief Major General Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef, a bodyguard was also wounded in the deadly assault.
The shooting comes as the ISIL militants continue their campaign of terror in Iraq. Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the militants since two weeks ago.
The advance of the militants has been slowed down as Iraqi military forces and volunteer fighters have begun engaging them on several fronts, pushing the militants out of several areas they had earlier overrun.
Iraqi media said on Tuesday that over a dozen militants were killed as army warplanes pounded multiple targets in the town of Baiji --- home to the country’s largest oil refinery.
The government troops also left around 80 ISIL militants dead in the central city of Hillah and the northern city of Balad in Salahuddin province.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has repeatedly said that Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are supporting the militancy in Iraq.