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UN chief says reports of mass killings in Iraq are 'deeply disturbing'

The U.N. chief says the reports of Islamic militants massacring scores of captured Iraqi soldiers after overrunning towns and cities are "deeply disturbing" and those responsible for it must be brought to justice.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday against sectarian rhetoric that could inflame the conflict and carry grave implications for the entire region.

He said he welcomed the statement on the need for Iraqi unity made by Grand Ayatollah Sayed Ali Al-Sistani, who he said "represents a deeply influential voice of wisdom and reason."

The Islamic militants who overran cities and towns in Iraq last week have posted graphic photos online that appear to show their gunmen massacring scores of captured Iraqi soldiers.