[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Wednesday condemned [statement] the February 16 terrorist attack in Baghdad that left at least 55 people dead. A terrorist group linked to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, which was reportedly a car bomb [Al Jazeera report] on a busy street in the Bayaa neighborhood. Current Council President Volodymyr Yelchenko [official profile] called the attacks "cowardly and heinous," and reiterated the Council's position that "any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed." He urged UN member states to cooperate with the government of Iraq [website] in its effort to counter the violence of IS and other terrorist organizations.
Notwithstanding the calls for support, the UN has criticized the Iraqi government for certain actions in its response to terrorism. In September the UN said [JURIST report] that civilians bear the brunt of the violence. In August Human Rights Watch reported that Iraqi militias are recruiting children [JURIST report] from at least one civilian camp of displaced persons in the region of Kurdistan. Earlier in August the UN issued a report detailing the "terrible atrocities" [JURIST report] committed by IS against the Yazidi people and other ethnic and religious groups in Iraq. Also in August the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed concern [JURIST report] over efforts by the Iraqi government to expedite implementation of the death penalty.