Baghdad, Jan 21 (IANS) Twenty-six bodies, including 15 civilians and 11 members of Kurdish security forces, were found in northern Iraq, an official said Tuesday.

Search teams from the Kurdistan regional government and Iraqi human rights ministry found these bodies in the rural area of Saadiya district, 120 km northeast of Baghdad, Xinhua quoted an official from Diyala province as saying.

These bodies of civilians and soldiers were buried in two graves, and the victims were most likely captured and executed by the Sunni radical group Islamic State (IS) in Saadiya district, the official added.

The security situation in Iraq began to drastically deteriorate since June 10, when bloody clashes broke out between the Iraqi security forces and the IS group, an Al Qaeda offshoot, which has taken control of the country’s northern province of Nineveh and later seized swathes of territories after Iraqi security forces abandoned their posts in other predominantly Sunni provinces.