News in brief 27 June 2016 (AM)

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Sigrid Kaag, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) UN File Photo/Mark Garten

Suicide bombings in Lebanon kill five

A series of four suicide bombings in north-eastern Lebanon that took place on Monday morning have killed five, and left others injured.

The attacks, which took place at dawn in the town of El-Qaa, near the Syrian border, were swiftly condemned by the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

Sigrid Kaag expressed her "profound condolences" to the families of the victims, who were all civilians.

The town is predominantly Christian, and the explosions took place close to the local church, according to news reports.

Ms Kaag praised the "courage and commitment" of the Lebanese armed and security forces, and called for "sustained international support" to help them meet the security challenges faced inside the country, and along its borders.

She stressed the need for those responsible for "terrorist acts to be brought to justice."

Attack which left 25 dead in Somali hotel, condemned by UN

An attack which left at least 25 dead and injured many others, at a hotel in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has been condemned in the "strongest possible terms" by the UN envoy to the country.

UN Special Representative Michael Keating said that he was "appalled" by the "atrocious attack" on the Naso Hablod Hotel in the southern part of the city, in which a government minister was also killed.

Burci Hamza was the State Minister for Environment Affairs, and Mr Keating said he had been a "passionate advocate for Somalia's natural environment and was fighting against its degradation."

The extremist terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed the attack, carried out by a suicide bomber on Sunday who detonated explosives at the hotel gate, allowing other armed militants to enter the hotel.

It's a hotel used often by politicians and tourists.

UN helps displaced Iraqi farmers return home

A UN project to help Iraqi farmers displaced by violence to return to their homes and livelihoods has been officially completed.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) began work to repair the Al-Khairat irrigation canal in the Al-Garma district in Anbar Governorate two months ago, with its partner organization, the Rebuild Iraq Recruitment Program, or RIRP.

The canal was damaged when extremist militants occupied the area from late 2013, until the end of last year.

UNHCR's Iraq Representative, Bruno Geddo, said that the project would have a "positive impact on the ability of families to rebuild their lives and start agricultural production again."

He added that field staff from the agency "could see the satisfaction of families who had returned to their once-devastated community."

More than 6,500 hectares of land has been reclaimed for farming, and families have already planted new crops including corn and sunflowers.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'18"

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