Shafaq News/ More than 70 kilometers of the areas between Diyala and Saladin are devoid of security presence, spokesperson to al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF) command in Diyala Sadiq al-Husayni revealed on Friday.
Al-Husayni told Shafaq News Agency, "Diyala carries the burden of 'death gaps' located in the territory of Samarra and Saladin Operations Commands."
"An area of 55 kilometers inside the Samarra Command territory adjacent to Diyala has zero security presence," he explained, "Saladin Command attributes this to the poor human resources and the tough topography of this area."
"Another 15 kilometers from the territory of Saladin, which lies near another part of Diyala, has become a haven for the terrorist groups due to the lack of security presence."
Husayni hinted at continuous meetings and deliberations are being held between the Commands of Diyala and Saladin under the auspices of the Joint Operations Command to address this situation and halt the nearly-daily security breaches.
The PMF spokesperson attributed the resurgence of those attacks to "internal and external support" in addition to its "proximity to Baghdad and Iran", indicating that the coordination between the security forces and the PMF in Diyala contributed to clearing the governorate.
Gunmen from the ISIS extremist group attacked an army barrack in a mountainous area north of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 11 soldiers as they slept.
Officials said the attack occurred in the al-Azim district, an open area north of Baqouba in the Diyala province.
The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but officials revealed that ISIS gunmen broke into the barracks at 3 a.m. local time and shot dead the soldiers.
The attack was one of the deadliest carried out by the extremist group against Iraqi security forces in recent months.
Diyala's Operations Command sent reinforcements to the headquarters in al-Azim district and opened an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.