Twenty-five people were killed and 20 wounded in an attack by gunmen on two villages near Baquba city some 60 km northeast of the Iraqi capital, independent Voices of Iraq news agency reported citing a police source.
The predominately Sunni Sheikh Tamim and Ibrahim Yahia villages near Baquba were bombarded on Thursday by mortar shells, Baquba police chief Ali Dliyan told Voices of Iraq.
The barrage was followed by an attack by what Dliyan claimed was about 100 Al-Qaeda gunmen, who destroyed a number of houses and bombed the Al-Hussein Sunni mosque. The terrorists also seized and executed the mosque's Imam and three young worshippers, he said.
The gunmen also kidnapped five women. Police engaged with the militants, killing 10 gunmen and arresting 22 others.
Dliyan's family had previously been the victim of militants, who killed his wife, a number of his children and some security guards.
Thursday's attacks were preceded by another attack in Muqdadiya also in Diyala province on Wednesday evening, when a suicide bomber wearing an explosives-filled belt blew himself up among a crowd in a market, killing 16 and wounding 30, state-run al-Iraqiya TV reported.
Diyala province has recently witnessed frequent attacks, despite a security operation launched by joint Iraqi-US forces to hunt members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network in the area.
Meanwhile, four Iraqi soldiers were killed and eleven US soldiers were wounded in bomb attacks on a US military outpost in northern Iraq, the US military reported Thursday.
Eight Iraqis suspected of having information about Wednesday's attack have been detained, the statement added.
Separately, one US soldier was killed and three others injured during combat operations in an area west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Wednesday, the US military in Iraq reported, providing no further details.