A United Nations report on human rights violations and war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the decade-long civil war has highlighted horrific crimes that occurred in the country, including rape and sexual torture, waterboarding and forceful recruitment of children.

"Our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses that occurred in Sri Lanka, including indiscriminate shelling, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, harrowing accounts of torture and sexual violence, recruitment of children and other grave crimes," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said on Wednesday, Colombo Gazette reported. 

According to the United Nations, more than 80,000 people were killed during the civil war between 2002 and 2011 in Sri Lanka. That included Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese civilians, while tens of thousands of people disappeared during the decade.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) carried out scores of suicide bombings and executions until they were defeated by the Sri Lankan forces in 2009.

The government forces also unleashed horrific forms of torture on civilians. According to the report, the troops used tactics like sexual torture and waterboarding for interrogation and suspension of victims using pulleys.

Children were snatched forcefully from houses and schools and recruited by the LTTE as child soldiers, the report says. Many of the children were under 15 years of age. 

The UN body has now called for the creation of a special court comprising international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to look into the war crimes in Sri Lanka. 

"The report reveals violations that are among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole," Hussein said.