BAGHDAD - Two suicide bombings followed by clashes in Iraq’s Anbar province west of Baghdad killed 23 security personnel on Tuesday, officers and a doctor said.

The suicide bombers attacked a mosque in the Al-Jubba area of Anbar where anti-militant fighters were resting, killing 10, after which clashes broke out that left a further 13 security personnel dead and 21 wounded.

Al-Jubba is located near the Al-Asad Air Base - where American military personnel are deployed - and the town of Baghdadi, an area that has seen heavy fighting between security forces and the Islamic State (IS) militant group. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings are a tactic almost exclusively employed by extremists in Iraq, including IS militants.

Meanwhile, Iraqi defence minister has said that the country is rebuilding its army to address weaknesses including poor leadership and training that led to Baghdad’s forces being swept aside by militants.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group spearheaded a major offensive that overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in June, during which multiple Iraqi divisions collapsed.

In remarks broadcast on the 94th anniversary of the founding of Iraq’s army, Defence Minister Khaled al-Obaidi offered a stark assessment of the problems that contributed to the disaster. “Weak leaders and incompetent members assuming the chain of command, a lack of discipline, weak training, poor performance and the disintegration of public trust in the security forces... were the true reasons for the setback,” Obaidi said.

Iraq is working to address these problems, “beginning from the top of the army and its leadership and replacing them with nationalist, professional and competent members and leaders not tainted by corruption or lacking courage,” he said.

Speaking Tuesday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi emphasised the need to fight corruption in the military.

“There is no place... for corrupt (people) among us, for the corrupt (person) who wants to destroy this military institution,” Abadi said.

“We will continue fighting corruption and continue pursuing corruption to defend this army.”