Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state wait for aid in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf on September 12, 2017. (AFP / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN)
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Pressure mounted on Myanmar on Tuesday to end violence that has sent about 370,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh, with the United States calling for protection of civilians and Bangladesh urging safe zones to enable refugees to go home.The government of Buddhist-majority Myanmar says its security forces are fighting Rohingya militants behind a surge of violence in Rakhine state that began on Aug. 25, and they are doing all they can to avoid harming civilians.The United States said the violent displacement of the Rohingya showed Myanmar's security forces were not protecting civilians.Myanmar government spokesmen were not immediately available for comment but the foreign ministry said shortly before the U.S. statement was issued that Myanmar was also concerned about the suffering.Myanmar's government regards Rohingya as illegal migrants from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship, even though many Rohingya families have lived there for generations.Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Myanmar should set up safe zones to enable the refugees to go home.Myanmar has said those who can verify their citizenship can return but most Rohingya are stateless.
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