Iraqi officials say at least 25 people have been killed as suspected militants with al-Qaida in Iraq attacked two villages northeast of Baghdad.
Authorities say the militants attacked the villages near Baquba early Thursday. Those targeted included village leaders who support government efforts in the fight against al-Qaida. A tribal sheik was among those killed.
At least 15 residents were killed in the assault. Police say at least 10 militants were killed as armed villagers fought back. The militants retreated, taking several hostages. Police say those who fought back were loyal to a former Sunni Arab insurgent group that now opposes al-Qaida.
In other news, the U.S. military says 11 people, including nine Iraqi policemen, have been detained on suspicion of involvement in a bomb attack near their checkpoint in Baghdad's Rashid district.
Also, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed one al-Qaida-linked terrorist and detained 10 others during operations north of Baquba, in Baiji and the northern city of Mosul Thursday.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.