UPDATES DEATH TOLL, ADDS TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT, CHANGES HEADLINE AND DECK
By Ali Mukarrem Garip and Gozde Bayar
KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) - Members of the Daesh terrorist group killed six people and injured 11 others in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province, the Iraqi Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
A mortar attack targeted al-Hashdi al-Shabi forces who were exercising in a football pitch in Kirkuk’s Daquq district, Afsaryav Kamil, a Kirkuk police spokesman, told Anadolu Agency.
Kamil said Daesh was aiming to enter the area through the attack but were prevented by Iraq's Federal Police.
Turkey condemned the "heinous attack" which it said targeted the "current peace and security environment in Kirkuk".
"We are saddened by the attacks that took place last night (24 August) at a shrine in Tavuk district of Kirkuk," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In mid-2014, Daesh overran roughly one-third of Iraq, including the northern city of Mosul.
By late 2017, the Iraqi army -- with the help of the U.S.-led military coalition -- had recovered most if not all the territories lost to the terrorist group.
Although officials in Baghdad say Daesh’s presence in the country has been largely eradicated, the terrorist group has continued to stage sporadic attacks in Iraq's Nineveh, Kirkuk, Diyala, Saladin, and Anbar provinces.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak