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The unrest is some of the worst reported in the region since June, after clashes were set off by the reported rape and killing of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men in late May.

The crisis in Myanmar’s west goes back decades and is rooted in a dispute over where the region’s Muslim inhabitants originate.

Although many Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations, they are widely denigrated as foreigners — intruders who came from neighboring Bangladesh to steal scarce land.

The United Nations estimates their number at 800,000. The government does not count them as one of the country’s 135 ethnic groups, so — like neighboring Bangladesh — denies them citizenship.