Homicide Attack Kills 17 People in Eastern Iraq

A homicide attacker detonated his car outside a cafe in a Kurdish village close to the Iranian border Friday night, killing at least 17 people and wounding four, police said.

The attack occurred at about 9:00 p.m. in the small village of Ahmad Maref, near the city of Khanaqin, 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Baghdad, said police Maj. Zahid Ali Hussein, who reported the casualty toll.

Hussein, of the Khanaqin police, said the village with unpaved roads consists more than 30 houses of Kurdish farmers, who after the 2003 U.S. invasion returned to homes they were ejected from during Saddam Hussein's rule. The village is on the far eastern edge of Diyala province, where U.S. forces are waging an offensive around the main city of Baqouba.

There have been several homicide attacks in the past two years in Khanaqin killing and wounding dozens of people. Many of the Kurds in the area are Shiite Muslims.