News in Brief 29 February 2016 (AM)

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Ján Kubiš, Special Representative the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) addresses the press. UN File Photo/Amanda Voisard

"Vicious" twin bombings in Iraq condemned by UN

Twin suicide bombings in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, on Sunday have been condemned by the United Nations as "vicious and cowardly."

More than 70 people died in the attacks which took place near a market in the Sadr City district.

The terrorist group ISIL, also known as Daesh, has claimed responsibility.

Ján Kubiš, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) described the back-to-back bombings as "a particularly vicious and cowardly terrorist attack on peaceful civilians who were going about their daily business."

He said they were "clearly aimed at inflaming sectarian strife."

Investigation urged into deadly air strike in Yemen

A "prompt and impartial" investigation into an apparent airstrike in Yemen this past weekend that killed at least 32 civilians and injured more than 40 others has been urged by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned the attack on the Khaleq market located in the capital, Sana'a.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr Ban said the death toll was the highest from a single bombing since September 2015.

He also stressed that such attacks are considered serious violations of international law.

The UN chief also expressed his sincere condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims.

UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio big winner at the Oscars

American actor and UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio was among the big winners at the Academy Awards in Hollywood on Sunday evening.

The 41-year-old star, perhaps best known for his role in the movie 'Titanic,' took home the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in 'The Revenant.'

Mr DiCaprio was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change in 2014.

He used his Oscar acceptance speech to highlight the issue, saying that "climate change is real. It is happening right now."

Mr DiCaprio was among several celebrities who attended the UN climate change conference held in Paris in December.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'11"

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