Iraqi President Jalal says the bodies of more than 50 people thought to have been kidnapped late last week have been pulled from the Tigris river south of Baghdad.
The president says the bodies of men, women and children were recovered and identified. He also says authorities know the identity of the killers.
Last Saturday, Shi'ite officials said about 50 people were kidnapped by Sunni militants in the town of Madaen, near the capital, and were threatened with death. But Iraqi forces who raided the town Monday said they found no evidence that anyone had been taken hostage.
Elsewhere, the bullet-riddled bodies of 19 Iraqis have been found in a soccer stadium about 200 kilometers north of Baghdad.
An Associated Press reporter in the town of Haditha said he saw the bodies of 19 men in civilian clothes lying against a wall. Residents said they believe the men were Iraqi soldiers heading home on holiday leave.
There was no government confirmation of the witness reports.
Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.