Iraqi police on Wednesday unearthed a grave containing six bodies in a village north of Baquba, the capital of Iraq's ethnically divided Diyala province, local media reported.
Police sources told the Voices of Iraq news agency that "six decayed and beheaded bodies that bore the marks of torture" were found on Wednesday in the village of Albu Teaama, near Khalis, a predominantly Shiite village surrounded by Sunni towns north of Baquba, dpa reported.
It was unclear who was responsible for the deaths.
Baquba, some 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, was once a central battlefield in Iraq's civil war. For years, the city was wracked by fighting between Shiite militias, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and Coalition Forces.
Hundreds of mass graves have been found in the area in recent years. In late January, police found six mass graves containing the decayed bodies of 18 people in the village of al-Aimar, not far from Khalis.
In late November, security forces in the area found a mass grave containing 23 corpses buried together that appeared to have been dead for a year and a half. In March police found the remains of 100 people buried together in Khalis.
That discovery followed a judicial investigation into the local police chief following the discovery of another mass grave in the area, the Iraqi newspaper al-Zaman reported last February.