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Myanmar military says death toll in clashes has risen to nearly 400

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Myanmar's military said nearly 400 people have died, following in recent violence in the western state of Rakhine on Aug. 25.

A military commander posted on Facebook Friday said there had been 90 armed classes and 30 attacks by insurgents the Rohingya ethnic group on Aug. 25. He also added that 29 of the 399 insurgents were dead.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, who claimed responsibility for the attack, said it was trying to protect the Rohingya communities. Advocates for the ethnic group told the Associated Press that hundreds of Rohingya civilians had been killed by security forces.

The UN estimated that, in just one week, almost 50,000 Rohingya people had fled the country/ Nearly 27,000 people have tried to enter the neighboring country of Bangladesh. However, Bangladeshi border guards have tried to keep them out.

“The worsening cycle of violence is of grave concern and must be broken urgently,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee in a statement. "“I am concerned that these events will derail efforts to address the root causes of the systematic discrimination and recurrent violence in Rakhine State."

These violent clashes come amid heightened tensions between ethnic groups in Myanmar. IN 2012, riots erupted between the Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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