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Why are my rewrite rules being ignored by WordPress?

I've got the following rule added:

news/([0-9]{4})/?$  archive-news.php?year=$matches[1]

but the URL news/2015 gives a 404.

Why?

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All rewrite rules should point to index.php. This is a reference to the main index.php file through which all requests are routed, not a template file.

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