Human Rights Watch wants alleged Myanmar abuses investigated

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A human rights group has called for Myanmar's government to back an independent international investigation into alleged abuses by its security forces against members of the country's Muslim Rohingya ethnic minority, including the apparent systematic use of sexual violence.

The U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said in a statement Monday that army soldiers and Border Guard Police took part in rape, gang rape, invasive body searches and sexual assaults while conducting counter-insurgency operations in the western state of Rakhine from October through mid-December.

It said military and police commanders should be held responsible for such actions if they failed to stop or punish those who carried them out. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made similar allegations in a detailed report released on Friday.