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US Calls on Burma to Stop Violence on Muslims

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has urged Burma to intervene in Rakhine State to stop violence between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims.

Power's comments followed a briefing to the U.N. Security Council Thursday on the crisis in the country also known as Myanmar.

Burma emerged from a half-century of military rule in 2011, but its transition to democracy has been marred by sectarian violence in Rakhine where Rohingya Muslims have fled attacks by the majority Buddhist population.

Power said the United States "continues to support" Burma's reforms, but is "greatly concerned" by the violence.

Buddhist-Muslim violence erupted in Rakhine state in 2012 and has since spread to other parts of the country. The fighting has killed at least 240 people and displaced 140,000 others, mainly Rohingya.

The U.N. views the Rohingya as one of the world's most persecuted minorities. Not only are they often the subject of anti-Muslim prejudice, they also are denied citizenship and many other basic rights by the government.

The Burmese government considers the Rohingya illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.

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