An Australian national, working as a security contractor for a diplomatic mission in Baghdad, Iraq, has been shot dead. Australia's foreign ministry confirmed the death of the 34-year-old, who has not been identified.

The victim was thought to be a contractor employed by the Unity Resources Group, which provides security to Australian diplomatic missions and staff in the Iraqi capital. The motive behind his death, which took place late on Wednesday (11 May), has not been made clear as yet. The man is thought to be a former member of the Australian special forces.

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, said in a statement: "The circumstances surrounding his death will be thoroughly investigated. I am advised the high level of security is being maintained at the Embassy. In light of the ongoing investigation, and out of respect for the man's family, the Australian Government will not provide further comment at this time."

The embassy is located within the heavily fortified International Zone in the Iraqi capital. Bishop has insisted a high-level of security has been maintained at the diplomatic missions and there was no compromise on the safety of its employees. Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is also expected to respond to the situation.

Baghdad has been increasingly becoming volatile in recent months, while thousands of protesters recently stormed the so-called Green Zone in demonstrations against the government. Yesterday (12 May), Islamic State (Isis) claimed a series of bomb blasts in various neighbourhoods of Baghdad, targeting civilians and security personnel.