News in Brief 25 September 2017 (AM)

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Senegalese UNPOL Officers patrol the streets of Gao, Mali. Photo MINUSMA/Marco Dormino

UN chief condemns deadly attack on blue helmets in Mali

The killing of three peacekeepers in Mali has been condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

The blue helmets from Bangladesh were part of a convoy travelling in the Gao region on Sunday which came under attack.

Five of their colleagues also were seriously injured.

UN chief António Guterres has conveyed his condolences to the Government of Bangladesh and to the families of the deceased.

He also wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The Secretary-General also reaffirmed the UN's determination to support peace efforts in Mali.

He recalled that the Security Council has imposed sanctions against those who obstruct the implementation of a peace agreement there or who attack UN personnel.

New IAEA lab to help promote "insect birth control" technique

A new UN laboratory that opened in Austria on Monday will help countries to combat insect pests which spread disease and damage crops, such as mosquitoes and fruit flies.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the facility will "substantially increase" its ability to support countries in applying a type of "insect birth control" known as the Sterile Insect Technique, or SIT.

The technique uses radiation to sterilize male insects which are then reared in large numbers and released in target areas to mate with females.

As the insects do not reproduce, the pest population is reduced over time.

The IAEA explained that the technique is environmentally-friendly and has been widely used around the world against harmful insects, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly.

The lab will also facilitate research into using the technique for different insects, such as the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, Zika and other diseases.

IOM assisting northern Iraq displaced

More than 2,400 people displaced by military operations in northern Iraq are receiving assistance from the UN migration agency, IOM.

The offensive in Hawija district in Kirkuk governorate, and surrounding areas, began last Wednesday.

The majority of those affected—who are mainly children, women and the elderly— have been displaced to Ninewa governorate.

The Iraqi authorities have bussed around 1,700 to an IOM emergency site south of the city of Mosul.

The UN agency reports that many of the people have walked up to 10 hours across desert, leaving them dehydrated and exhausted.

IOM and its partners have been providing the new arrivals with tents as well as food, water, bedding, fans, gas cookers and other items.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'40"

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