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IS Jihadists Kill 12 in Raid on Iraqi Military Base

FILE - Iraqi security forces prepare to attack Islamic State extremists at Camp Speicher, the front line in Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, March 12, 2015.

Five suicide bombers from the Islamic State group attacked an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 12 members of the security forces and wounding 20 others, officials said.

Two of the bombers detonated their vehicle-borne explosives at the western gate of Camp Speicher, a former U.S. base outside the Sunni city of Tikrit.

Three others exploded themselves after entering the section of the base where Iraqi police are being trained, police and military sources in the Salahuddin operations command said.

Islamic State, the militant group controlling swathes of Iraq's north and west, claimed responsibility for the blasts in a statement distributed by supporters online.

It said it targeted "trainers from the rejectionist army," a term used by the Sunni insurgents to describe Shi'ite Muslims.

Iraq is gripped by a sectarian conflict mostly between Shi'ites and Sunnis that has been exacerbated by the rise of the ultra-hardline Sunni insurgents of Islamic State.