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Ethnic cleansing is the process or policy of eliminating unwanted ethnic or religious groups by deportation, forcible displacement, mass murder, or by threats of such acts, with the intent of creating a territory inhabited by people of a homogeneous or pure ethnicity, religion, culture, and history. Ethnic cleansing usually involves attempts to remove physical and cultural evidence of the targeted group in the territory through the destruction of homes, social centers, farms, and infrastructure, and by the desecration of monuments, cemeteries, and places of worship. The crimes committed during an ethnic cleansing is similar to that of genocide, but while genocide includes complete extermination of the target group as the stated goal, ethnic cleansing may involve murder only to the point of mobilizing the target group out of the territory. Hence there may be varied degrees of mass murder in an ethnic cleansing, often subsiding when the target group appears to be leaving the desired territory, while during genocide the mass murder is ubiquitous and constant throughout the process, continuing even while the target group tries to flee. The term ethnic cleansing gained widespread acceptance by the 1990s in academic discourse; despite originally being used by the perpetrators during the Yugoslav Wars, scholars now commonly use it to refer to "the systematic and violent removal of undesired ethnic groups from a given territory." (via Freebase)