Some leaders of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority have said they may work with the new prime minister, a move that could help break political deadlock.
The mainly Shia Muslim government is locked in a fight with Islamic State (IS), an extreme Sunni group leading an insurrection in the north.
Late on Friday, reports emerged of IS militants killing at least 80 men and taking women and children captive.
In New York, the UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on IS members.
Six people associated with IS or the Syria-based Nusra Front will now be subject to an international travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo, while backers of the two groups may also face sanctions
In Iraq, reports and Kurdish officials said rebels targeted a village called Kocho, 45km (28 miles) south-east of Sinjar, killing men of the Yazidi faith and abducting scores of women and children.
“They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” one Kurdish official Reuters news agency. “We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”
Yazidi and Christian people in northern Iraq have faced persecution by the jihadists, prompting US-led air strikes and aid drops and calls for other Western states to arm opponents of IS.
At an emergency EU meeting in Brussels, the 28 member-states were left to decide individually whether they would arm Iraq’s Kurds, the main opponent of IS in the north.
Separately, fighting has flared up in mainly Sunni Anbar province, west of Baghdad, parts of which have been under IS control.
IS-led violence has driven an estimated 1.2 million Iraqis from their homes. Whole communities of Yazidis and Christians have been forced to flee in the north, along with Shia Iraqis, whom IS do not regard as true Muslims.
Chink of hope
A group of leaders from restive Sunni provinces issued a joint statement addressed to new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who took over from Nouri Maliki on Thursday.
They said they could join the new government if the security and civil administrations in their areas were given equal status to that of the central government.
But they demanded that the Iraqi authorities stop the bombardment of Sunni provinces and cities, and said that local people should be allowed to run Sunni provinces.
Calling for a reform of the Iraqi army, they asked for the release of political detainees, an end to executions and the withdrawal of militias from Sunni cities.