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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court on Thursday approved a prosecution request to formally investigate war crimes allegedly committed in Burundi by the government and government-linked groups against political opponents from April 2015 to October 2017.

The decision follows Burundi's decision to seek withdraw from the court as of Oct. 26, 2017. However, the court will still have jurisdiction over crimes committed while Burundi was a member.

In a statement, the court said the prosecutor has presented evidence of crimes against humanity worth investigating, including murder, torture, rape and persecution, leading to more than 1,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 400,000 persons.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Larry King)

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