Five Sunni Arab tribal leaders have been killed in a suicide attack in Iraq's Diyala province, police say.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt in the house of Sheikh Faez al-Obeidi, killing him and four of his relatives.
Those killed were members of the Diyala Salvation Council, a group opposed to the presence of al-Qaeda militants in the province, north-east of Baghdad.
Ten others were wounded in the blast, which happened near the town of Khalis.
Diyala province, home to a mixture of Sunnis and Shias, has become a key battleground in the struggle to drive al-Qaeda from Iraq.
Until a few months ago, al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups in the province fought together against Iraqi government and US-led forces.
But increasing numbers of the militants' former allies in the Sunni community have turned against them, mainly because they dislike the austere form of Islam that they practise.
The US has provided them with training and arms.
The uprising began in the troubled Anbar province, once a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency, but has since spread to Diyala province and some areas of Baghdad.
It has not gone without reprisal. Attacks have been carried out against a number of anti-al-Qaeda Sunni figures.
The leader of the Anbar Awakening, Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, was killed in a bomb attack near his home in Ramadi in September.
A senior member of the Salahuddin Awakening Council, Sheikh Muawiya Jebara, was killed by a roadside bomb along with three of his bodyguards in October.
A Sunni religious leader who encouraged his community to confront al-Qaeda in Iraq, Sheikh Yunis al-Tai, was also killed by a blast at his home in Diyala province in August. ( BBC )