Muslim barbers give customers haircut at a roadside makeshift barber shop, Friday, Jan 17, 2014, in The’ Chaung village, Rakhine state, Myanmar. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
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Myanmar's government denied that security forces and a Buddhist mob attacked a village in an isolated corner of the country this past week and killed Muslim women and children. A rights group said more than a dozen people may have died and that hundreds of people have fled their homes.Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people, has been grappling with sectarian violence for nearly two years. More than 240 people have been killed and another 250,000 forced to flee their homes, most of them Muslims from the western state of Rakhine.The northern tip of the state, where Tuesday's violence occurred, is home to 80 percent of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, considered by the United Nations to be one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The death toll could be anywhere from 10 to 60, said Lewa, whose sources range from a village administrator to witnesses. One described the slashed-up bodies of three acquaintances -- two women and a 14-year-old boy -- found in their homes.
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