In this Friday, May 11, 2012 file photo, a young South Sudanese soldier who appeared to be drunk reaches for a lighter for his cigarette at the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) headquarters in Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan. The U.N.'s top official for children and armed conflicts Leila Zerrougui said during a stop in Kenya on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 that the use of child soldiers and violence against children is commonplace in South Sudan's year of warfare. (AP Photo/Pete Muller, File)
In this Friday, May 11, 2012 file photo, a young South Sudanese soldier who appeared to be drunk reaches for a lighter for his cigarette at the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) headquarters in Bentiu, Unity State, South Sudan. (AP Photo/Pete Muller, File)

(BBC) – South Sudan’s army and allied militias “abducted, torched and gang-raped girls” during fighting against rebel forces, a UN report says.

Investigators found that at least 172 women and girls were abducted and subjected to sexual violence, it added.

One woman was “dragged out of her hut and gang-raped in front of her three-year old child”, the report said.

The government denies its army has committed atrocities but says it will study the report.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) said abuses during the 18-month civil war had reached a new scale of intensity and horror in recent fighting in the oil-producing Unity State.

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