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UN condemns attacks by IS militants on minority groups


08-08-2014 14:23 BJT

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the Islamic State insurgent group’s attacks on minorities in Iraq, and urged international support for the Iraqi government. The council says the attacks could constitute crimes against humanity and that those responsible should be held accountable.

"The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms, the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse the extremist ideology of ISIL and associated armed groups. The members of the Security Council also urge all parties to stop human rights violations and abuses, ensure humanitarian access, and facilitate the delivery of assistance to those fleeing violence," said UK Parmanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant.

The meeting, requested by France, came after militants from the Islamic State insurgent group seized Iraq’s largest hydroelectric dam on Thursday. This gives them control of enormous power and water resources, and leverage over the Tigris River that runs through the heart of Baghdad.

France’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Alexis Lamek, said his country was "deeply concerned" by the militants’ latest advance in northern Iraq. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" by recent attacks on minority groups in northern Iraq, and called on the international community to help the affected people.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said tens of thousands of fleeing civilians are trapped in the Sinjar mountains, in desperate conditions. UN agencies and partners are providing displaced people with emergency assistance including food, water, health care and basic household items.

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