- Rakhine State is home to many Rohingyas, a persecuted minority in Myanmar
- Human Rights Watch says Rohingya villages have been destroyed by fire
(CNN)Myanmar's government says Air Force helicopters opened fire on attackers in troubled Rakhine State Sunday after two soldiers were killed in clashes with men armed with guns, knives and spears.
- The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine state thought to number between 800,000 and one million.
- Myanmar does not recognize them as citizens or one of the 135 recognized ethnic groups living in the country.
- Much of this is rooted in their heritage in East Bengal, now called Bangladesh.
- Though many Rohingya have only known life in Myanmar, they are widely viewed as intruders from across the border.
- According to Human Rights Watch, laws discriminate against the Rohingya, infringing on their freedom of movement, education, and employment.
- They are denied land and property rights and ownership, and land on which they live can be taken away at any given time.