NEW YORK : Human Rights Watch Monday released satellite imagery showing at least three burnt villages in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine State, home to the persecuted Rohingya Muslims, and urged the government to seek United Nations' help in investigating the destruction.

“New satellite images reveal destruction in Rakhine State that demands an impartial and independent investigation, something the Burmese (Myanmar) government has yet to show it’s capable of doing,”  Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. “The government should end its blanket denial of wrongdoing, and blocking of aid agencies, and stop making excuses for keeping international monitors from the area.” 

The high-resolution imagery of the burnt villages was recorded on October 22 and, and Human Rights Watch called on the Myanmarese government to urgently allow the United Nations to assist in investigating the destruction in the area.

 "UN-assisted investigation needs to examine the deadly attacks on border guard posts on October 9, and allegations that government security forces subsequently committed summary killings, sexual violence, arson, and other rights abuses against ethnic Rohingya villagers in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw district," Human Rights Watch said.

“These satellite images of village destruction could be the tip of the iceberg given the grave abuses being reported,” Robertson said.

Myanmar's military does not allow rights organizations and journalists to visit the remote region of Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh.

A government-sponsored delegation of UN aid agencies and foreign diplomats was expected to visit the region on Monday, marking the first time international aid agencies would be allowed into the area since October 9.

Northern Rakhine has been under a military lockdown since an alleged attack on the country’s border guards three weeks ago left nine police officers dead.

The government has accused Rohingyas of waging the armed assault, and an army search for the perpetrators has led to the killing of over 30 people and the arrest of dozens more, according to official reports.

Rights groups have reported numerous human rights abuses against Rohingya following the attack, including extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, arbitrary arrests, and burning of homes.

The Rakhine region, where Rohingya Muslims form the majority population, has been the scene of communal violence at the hands of Buddhist extremists since 2012.

Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands more have been forced to flee their homes and live in squalid camps in dire conditions within Myanmar and other countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

According to the UN, Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted minorities cross the globe.

The government denies full citizenship to the Rohingya population, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even as many trace their lineage in Myanmar back generations.