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Doctors without Borders ordered out of Myanmar

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Aid group Doctors without Borders said Friday it was "deeply shocked" by a call from Myanmar's government to end its activities in the country.

The humanitarian organization based in France said Friday it was ordered to close its clinics in the restive Myanmar states of Rakhine and Kachin. It said in a statement the decision leaves the estimated 30,000 patients suffering from AIDS and the 3,000 patients suffering from tuberculosis without access to effective care.

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"[We are] deeply shocked by this unilateral decision and extremely concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of patients currently under our care across the country," the organization said in a statement Friday.

A spokesman for the government told the BBC the non-governmental organization was suspected of showing bias in favor of the minority Muslim community.

The United Nations estimates 140,000 people, mostly from the minority Muslim community, are displaced because of violence in Rakhine. Mosques and Islamic schools were destroyed in anti-Muslim violence last year.

Doctors without Borders said there is "no other" medical organization of its kind in Myanmar with the experience it's gained since operations began in 1992.

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Myanmar earned international recognition for democratic reforms that began in 2010, though its human rights record has overshadowed some of those developments.

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