Militants armed with automatic weapons attacked a military position in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing 12 soldiers, police and a morgue employee said.
The attack in the Mahallabiyah area west of the city of Mosul also wounded 15 soldiers, Al Arabiya reported.
Iraq is suffering a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,650 people so far this year despite numerous operations by the security forces to end the violence.
Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, is regarded as one of the most dangerous areas in Iraq.
Militants frequently attack members of the security forces, some of whom lack training and discipline.
And they are able even to strike at supposedly highly-secured targets, such as government buildings, police stations, prisons and military sites.
The security forces face a major test on April 30 when Iraqis vote in the first parliamentary election since American forces left at the end of 2011.
Already this month more than 400 people have been killed in the violence, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.