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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States' top Marine strongly criticized the suspected use of a Facebook group by military personnel and veterans to distribute nude photographs of female Marines, calling it an embarrassment.

“When I hear allegations of Marines denigrating their fellow Marines, I don’t think such behaviour is that of true warriors or warfighters,” Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Neller said in a video message on Tuesday.

"It is embarrassing to our corps, to our families, and to the nation," Neller added.

He added that some Marines may have acted "selfishly and unprofessionally through their actions on social media."

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating allegations that a closed Facebook group called "Marines United," which was visited by some military personnel and veterans, was used to share nude pictures of female Marines and derogatory comments.

According to an annual report that the Pentagon released in May 2016, the U.S. military received about 6,000 reports of sexual assault in 2015, similar to the number in 2014, but such crimes are still underreported.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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