According to reports, he was not in the area at the time of the attack.

Tuz Khurmatu is located in the province of Kirkuk, where Iraq's majority Arabs and minority Kurds are locked in a struggle over land, wealth and power.

Later on Friday, armed men in two cars attacked an army checkpoint in the Akashat area northwest of Baghdad near al-Qaim. 

At least six soldiers were killed and four others wounded in the attack.