BAGHDAD, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Unidentified gunmen shot dead a senior official of the North Gas Company (NGC) and his bodyguard in Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Tuesday, while two policemen were killed in separate attack in central country, security sources said.
Mohammed Younis Salih, NGC's deputy head, was shot dead in the morning by armed men while he was heading to his company in Wahid Huzayran neighborhood in southwestern Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Salih's bodyguard was also killed by the attack, the source said, adding an investigation was launched.
In a separate incident, two policemen were killed and an officer wounded when a would-be suicide bomber opened fire on a police checkpoint in eastern the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.
The policemen at the checkpoint fired back on the attacker and killed him after their bullets blew up his explosive belt, just before reaching his target inside the checkpoint, the source said.
Authorities in the city imposed curfew, blocked the entrances and tightened security measures.
The troops and allied paramilitary Hashd Shaabi units carried out a search operation in the city after intelligence reports said that two more suicide bombers could be hiding in the city, the source added.
The attacks came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS militants from their major stronghold in the western side of Mosul in northern Iraq.
Many blame the current chronic instability, cycle of violence, and the emergence of extremist groups, such as the IS, on the U.S., which invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003.