News in Brief 26 October 2015 (AM)

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Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA

UN officials condemn deadly attack on Afghan human rights workers

The killing of two human rights workers in Afghanistan has been condemned by the United Nations as "disgraceful" and "an atrocity."

The employees with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission died when a minibus transporting its staff was struck by a remote-controlled improvised explosive device in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Monday.

Six of their colleagues were also injured.

The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said an intentional attack against those who protect the rights of citizens is an "atrocity."

The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has also condemned the attack, calling it "disgraceful."

Nigeria removed from polio-endemic list

A ceremony was held in Nigeria on Monday to mark the country's removal from the list of countries where polio is endemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

Polio is a highly infectious disease, which is caused by a virus. It mostly affects children and can result in paralysis.

WHO said Nigeria had interrupted transmission of wild poliovirus for 15 months, which exceeded the agency's target.

Worldwide, only two countries remain polio-endemic: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In 1988, the figure stood at 125 countries, according to WHO.

Humanitarian agencies call for access to besieged Yemen city

Warring parties in Yemen are being urged to allow humanitarians to access the city of Taizz, where citizens are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.

The call was made by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen who said Taizz has been under a "virtual state of siege" since September, with little, if any, commercial goods or humanitarian aid able to enter its three districts.

Johannes van der Klaauw said UN agencies and their partners have been trying for weeks to reach citizens.

Although two-thirds of the population has left, he said up to 200,000 people are in desperate need of access to food, water and medical services.

He also reported that at least 15 people, including two children, died last week from rockets fired into civilian areas.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'17"

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