News in Brief 06 January 2016 (AM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to journalists on the underground nuclear test announced by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 6 January. UN Photo/Mark Garten

North Korean nuclear test "unequivocally" condemned by UN chief

The testing of a hydrogen bomb, which the Democratic People's Republic of  Korea, or DPRK, claims to have carried out, has been condemned "unequivocally" by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon said that if it was confirmed, the DPRK's fourth, and most powerful nuclear test, would profoundly destabilize regional security, and international non-proliferation efforts.

Families have "right to know the truth" over "disappeared" in Thailand

Families of at least 82 people who have disappeared in Thailand, have a "right to know the truth" about what happened to them.

That's according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who urged the Thai government on Wednesday to conduct "decisive" investigations as to their whereabouts.

Among those listed as missing, are lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit, who disappeared 12 years ago while he was defending people arrested under martial law.

In that case, suspects had accused authorities of torturing them while in custody.

Zeid called on the Thai government to criminalize enforced disappearance, in line with international standards.

Taliban attacks in civilian areas of Kabul kill 5 and injure at least 56

A spate of bombings across the Afghan capital, Kabul, over the first few days of the year, resulted in the death of five civilians, with at least 56 injured, the UN Mission there has confirmed.

UNAMA condemned the attacks, saying that ordinary Afghan men, women and children made up the vast majority of the victims. Four UN civilian staff were among those injured.

The head of UNAMA, Mark Bowden, said that apart from the casualties, the three suicide bombings had destroyed homes and businesses in heavily-built up areas.

The attacks between New Year's Day and Monday, targeted a restaurant popular with foreigners, and Kabul International Airport.

Killing of another Syrian journalist, condemned by UN chief

The killing of another Syrian journalist just before the New Year, has been condemned by the head of the UN cultural organization, UNESCO.

Naji Jerf, an internet and video journalist who founded the Hentah site, which documents human rights abuses in Syria, was killed in Turkey on December 27.

The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said journalists had to be treated as civilians in times of war, and called for a full investigation into Mr Jerf's death.

She also denounced the killing late last year of Syrian journalists Zakaria Ibrahim, and Batoul Mokhles al-Warrar, whose deaths were only recently confirmed.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’08″

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