Baghdad, Iraq A suicide car bomber struck outside a cafe in a tiny Kurdish village near the Iranian border Friday, killing 26 people in a remote part of a province where U.S. forces are waging an offensive against Sunni insurgents, police said.
The blast ripped through the coffee shop near a market of Iranian goods in the village of Ahmad Maref, 87 miles northeast of Baghdad, said an official at the joint security coordination committee of Diyala province. At least 33 people were wounded, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The village is home to about 30 Kurdish families who had been expelled under Saddam Hussein's rule and returned after his fall. Many Kurds in the area are Shiite Muslims.
An alleged al-Qaida militant, meanwhile, was executed for his role in one of Iraq's first major bombings, an August 2003 blast that killed a Shiite leader and 84 other people and foreshadowed the four-year insurgency that followed, a Justice Ministry official said Friday.
Oras Mohammed Abdul-Aziz was hanged Tuesday in Baghdad after being sentenced to death in October, Ministry Undersecretary Busho Ibrahim told The Associated Press.
The execution announcement was the first word that a suspect had been tried in the killing of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim.