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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 13:23 GMT 14:23 UK
UN to probe Burma rape allegations
United Nations officials say that the human rights rapporteur for Burma, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, is to visit the north-eastern Shan state after allegations of systematic rape by the Burmese army.

UN officials in Geneva say that the allegations by human rights groups that the army has systematically raped ethnic Shan women will be an important part of Mr Pinheiro's mission to Burma next month.

The Burmese military government has dismissed the allegations as a tissue of lies.

A BBC correspondent in the region says Mr Pinheiro is also likely to investigate the conditions in Burma's jails, alleged violence between Muslims and Buddhist monks last year, the military's use of child soldiers and the issue of political prisoners.

It will be the fourth visit to Burma by the UN rapporteur since his appointment nearly three years ago.

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