Sunni tribal leaders say mass grave containing 70 bodies found in a village amid fighting in eastern Diyala province.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that government or militia fighters who take part in serious criminal behaviour should be regarded as “outlaws” and “no less dangerous than terrorists”.
His remarks on Saturday came as three bombings targeted public places and security forces in or near Baghdad, killing at least nine people.
Speaking at a security summit in the capital, Abadi made an apparent reference to the alleged massacre of dozens of unarmed men in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province last week.
Sunni politicians and tribal chiefs have accused Shia fighters of killing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled clashes with fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the village of Barwanah.
“Let everyone hear me – those are outlaws by the consensus of all Iraqi society. They do not represent the popular mobilisation forces, nor the security forces or even Iraqis,” Abadi said.
“Those are criminals and outlaws. They came with their agenda to entrap Iraqis.
“I have said it before and will say it today – those who were conducting killings and kidnapping crimes in Baghdad and other cities are no less dangerous than terrorists.”
Abadi was hosting a large number of religious and political factions at Saturday’s conference, as part of the government’s attempt to create a united front against ISIL.
Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said the meeting was designed to reconcile divisions between religious groups across Iraq.
“This is a really crucial time for Iraq. In the past few days there has been an increase in attacks by ISIL … as well as an investigation into what is shaping up to be a massacre, possibly by Shia militias,” she said.