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Attempts to bring stability to Burma’s restive Arakan state could be disintegrating after police opened fire on Rohingya Muslims last week, as tensions in the region continue to rise following two bouts of ethnic violence last year left hundreds dead and more than 140,000 people displaced.
Last Friday, on the outskirts of the Arakan state capital of Sittwe fighting between police and local Rohingya erupted following an argument over the custody of a dead Rohingya. As tempers rose, Rohingya villagers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) razed a police outpost in Ohntawgyi village and set up a nearby roadblock. Police responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and live rounds into the crowd, which injured at least seven people.