Rights group Amnesty International says the actions of Myanmar’s military may constitute “crimes against humanity” after allegations of violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
Its report accuses Burmese forces of murdering civilians, rape and torture.
Myanmar’s military has denied accounts of atrocities and says it is conducting anti-terrorist raids in Rakhine.
At a meeting of regional leaders in Yangon, the government said it needed “time and space” to resolve the issue.
Malaysia said this was now a “regional concern”, and called for the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) to co-ordinate humanitarian aid and investigate the allegations.
It is extremely rare for the 10-nation regional body to discuss the affairs of a member country.
Reports of violence in Rakhine state began in October, after the army launched an anti-insurgency operation.
The operation started after border police were attacked by a militant group, which Amnesty said was composed primarily of Rohingya.
In November a UN official said Myanmar was conducting “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya, while Human Rights Watch has published satellite images of razed villages.
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Featured image courtesy of AFP.