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Eleven soldiers were shot dead by members of the Islamic State extremist group inside an army barracks in a mountainous area north of Baghdad early Friday.

The Iraqi military and security officials said the deadly attack occurred in the Al-Azim district, an open area north of Baqouba in Diyala province around 3 in the morning.

Sources said the Islamic State gunmen barged inside the barracks undetected and shot the sleeping soldiers including a ranking military official.

According to reports, the bold attack is one of the deadliest targeting the Iraqi military in recent months.

It was learned that while the Islamic State group was largely defeated in Iraq in 2017, and in Syria in 2019, it remains active through sleeper cells in many areas.

It was further learned that militants from the Sunni Muslim extremist group still conduct operations, often targeting security forces, power stations, and other infrastructure.

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