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Iraqi officials say Shi'ite militias executed 70 civilians

Local official says it was too soon to draw conclusions

Published: Updated:

An Iraqi governor, parliamentarian and two tribal chiefs on Monday accused Shi'ite militias of executing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled fighting with Islamic State militants.

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan denied the claims, saying ISIS was trying to undermine the reputation of Iraqi security forces.

A local official said it was too soon to draw conclusions and suggested ISIS could have been behind the deaths in the eastern village of Barwanah.

Security forces and pro-government militias took control of about two dozen villages from Islamic State fighters in Diyala province near the border with Iran earlier on Monday after a three-day assault.