Iraq's powerful Shiite militias on Saturday freed 65 civilians who had been abducted three months earlier, after a campaign in local media called for their fate to be made known.
The militias, who are recognized by the Iraqi government as part of its fight against the Islamic State Sunni extremist group, handed the abductees over to the district governor of Samarra, north of Baghdad.
The 65, from predominantly Sunni western and northern Iraq, were among 100 people abducted three months ago at a checkpoint near the Shiite holy city of Karbala south of Baghdad.
The fate of the remaining 35 remains unknown.
Alleged abuses by Shiite militias, officially known - along with smaller Sunni pro-government forces - as the Popular Mobilization, have caused anger among the country's Sunni minority.