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IS gunmen in Iraq kill 11 soldiers in brazen attack on barracks

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IS gunmen in Iraq kill 11 soldiers in brazen attack on barracks

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Gunmen from the extremist group so-called Islamic State (IS) attacked an army barracks in a mountainous region north of Baghdad early Friday, killing 11 soldiers as they slept, Iraqi security officials said .

Officials said the attack occurred in Al-Azim district, an open area north of Baqouba in Diyala province. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but two officials who spoke to The Associated Press said IS militants broke into the barracks at 3 a.m. local time and shot down the soldiers.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release official statements.

The brazen attack more than 120 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad was one of the deadliest targeting the Iraqi army in recent months.

The Islamic State group was largely defeated in the country in 2017, although it remains active through sleeper cells in many areas. Militants from the Sunni Muslim extremist group still carry out operations, often targeting security forces, power plants and other infrastructure.

In October, IS militants armed with machine guns attacked a predominantly Shiite village in Diyala province, killing 11 civilians and injuring several others. Officials at the time said the attack happened after the militants abducted villagers and their ransom demands were not met.

Officials said army reinforcements had been sent to the village where Friday’s attack occurred, and security forces deployed to surrounding areas. Further details were not immediately available and the Iraqi military did not immediately comment.

IS gunmen in Iraq kill 11 soldiers in brazen attack on barracks

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