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Islamic State attack on tribal forces west of Baghdad leaves 11 dead

Despite losing territory, IS sleeper cells continue sporadic attacks on Iraqi forces
Iraq’s rapid response forces storm a house in the Tarmiyah district, north of Baghdad, searching for wanted Islamic State group suspects on 21 July 2019 (AFP)

Eleven people were killed late Sunday after an Islamic State group attack on a lookout point west of Baghdad manned by a state-sponsored tribal force.

Security sources and medics told AFP the militants threw grenades and fired on the tribal Hashd al-Shaabi forces stationed at Al-Radwaniyah, on the southern outskirts of the Iraqi capital, near the Baghdad airport. 

"IS attacked the monitoring tower, killing five members of the tribal Hashd and six local people who had come to help repel the attack," a security source said.

A medic confirmed the toll to AFP, and said eight wounded were transferred to a hospital in central Baghdad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from IS.

IS swept across a third of Iraq in 2014, seizing major cities across the north and west and reaching the suburbs of the capital Baghdad. 

After a fierce three-year fight backed by the US-led coalition, Iraq declared IS defeated in late 2017.

The coalition has significantly drawn down its troops this year, consolidating them to three main bases in Baghdad, Ain al-Asad in the west and Erbil in the north. 

But IS's sleeper cells have continued to wage hit-and-run attacks on security forces and state infrastructure, particularly in desert areas where troops are stretched thin.

Attacks with such high tolls and so close to the capital have been rare, however.