Police and soldiers responding to a report of killings Sunday found 30 bodies, most beheaded, near a village north of Baghdad, in one of the bloodiest episodes in a cycle of apparent sectarian killings terrorizing Iraq, police reported.
Authorities reported no immediate information on the identities of the victims or on who may have been responsible.
Talabani said he had sent a battalion of soldiers to join a team from Diyala hospital to deal with the reported victims.
But then a military officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak, said soldiers had turned back from the scene, fearing an ambush. The search team did continue later, however, and discovered the bodies.