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News this week: 300,000 Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar amidst violence

Rohingya homes are burning

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Media captionWho is burning down Rohingya villages?

About 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Myanmar for Bangladesh since violence erupted last month.

Myanmar has a long history of conflict between its large Buddhist population and a minority Muslim population known as Rohingya.

But things came to a head in August, when Rohingya insurgents armed with knives and homemade bombs attacked more than 30 police posts in northern Rakhine, the government said.

This sparked a wave of violence against Rohingya, who say thousands have been burned from their homes, killed and raped by the military and Buddhist monks. The government claims it is just trying to keep the peace, and that most of the people killed have been terrorists.

The violence has put a spotlight on de facto Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her work fighting for democratic rule against the Burmese military.

But since winning the general election in 2015, many have criticized Aung San Suu Kyi for doing little to quiet the ethnic rivalries within Myanmar. She rebuffed the UN last December and refused to visit the Rhakine state, where most of the violence has taken place.

She also denies that what is happening is ethnic cleansing. Instead, she has said the military is protecting the country from terrorists.

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