Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, is seen in front of a portrait of his father Mustafa Barzani (File photo -  Jan. 30, 2005)
Kurdish lawmakers in northern Iraq have elected nationalist Massoud Barzani as regional president, giving Kurds the promise of greater autonomy after decades of oppression under Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, will be formally sworn in Tuesday. His long-time rival, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, became president of Iraq's power-sharing government earlier this year.

In other developments, insurgents have freed French journalist Florence Aubenas and her driver, who were taken hostage in Baghdad five months ago. Ms. Aubenas is expected in France later Sunday.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police say the bound, decomposing bodies of 20 unidentified men have been found on a military firing range in suburban Baghdad.

Friday, police in western Anbar province reported finding the bodies of 21 executed men thought to be Iraqi soldiers.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.