Police said on Friday the men had blocked a road and opened fire on Dr Iman Abd al-Munim Yunus with AK-47 assault rifles when her car approached.

Yunis was head of the translation department at Mosul University's College of Arts.

Aljazeera learnt that the lecturer had previously received death threats.

Police said there was no obvious motive for the attack, but anti-government forces regularly target Iraq's political and intellectual elite as part of their campaign to destabilise the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.