The Foreign Ministry condemned on Wednesday a deadly attack on an Iraqi Turkmen Front official in Iraq's Kirkuk.
"We strongly condemn the heinous attack carried out at a time when Kirkuk's people are supposed to leave behind the suffering they have endured for years," the ministry said in a statement.
Alaa al-Din al-Salihi was shot dead in the al-Askari neighborhood in Kirkuk by unknown assailants late Tuesday. The attackers fled after the shooting.
Turkey also called on authorities to take necessary measures to provide a safe and peaceful environment for Kirkuk's residents.
"We expect the instigators and perpetrators of the attack, which proved terrorist circles still continue to maintain their presence in Kirkuk, to be brought to justice as soon as possible," the statement added.
The Turkmen Front occupies two of 328 seats in the Iraqi parliament and nine out of 41 seats on the Kirkuk provincial council. Since October, Iraqi forces have controlled the entire province of Kirkuk, ending the presence of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) peshmerga forces.
Tension rose in the region when the KRG held an independence referendum on Sept. 25, and Kurds overwhelmingly voted to secede. The central government in Baghdad imposed tough measures and launched operations to take over border gates and airports in KRG-held areas. In response to the referendum, Iraqi government forces and Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias launched an offensive on Oct. 16.
Iraqi forces reclaimed the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in a mostly bloodless advance following the referendum.
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