The Rohingya people - an ethnic minority professing Islam - resides in Myanmar’s State of Rakhine. The authorities regard them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Religious conflicts in Rakhine and clashes between Muslims and Buddhists have been frequent. Thousands have suffered from violence there over the past few years.
The latest tensions flared up on August 25, when hundreds of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army militants attacked 30 police posts. According to earlier reports, one week of clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in western Myanmar claimed 402 lives. More than 18,000 refugees fled the country. Moscow and Grozny saw rallies in support of Rakhine Muslims.