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TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Seven Iraqi soldiers were killed on Wednesday when a suicide attacker tried to infiltrate a security headquarters near the northern city of Baiji where Islamic State is entrenched in nearby mountain areas, security sources said.

Around five assailants attacked the compound where police and army troops are based. One blew up his explosives vest at the entrance while the other four clashed with guards for around three hours, said army colonel Mohammed al-Assadi.

Police and army soldiers managed to kill the four attackers while six policemen and soldiers were also wounded, Assadi said.

Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate effectively collapsed last month when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces completed the recapture of Mosul, the militants' capital in northern Iraq, after a nine-month campaign.

Some parts, including small towns and mountain areas, remain under Islamic State control, especially along the border.

(Reporting by Ghazwan Hassan; Writing by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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Reuters