Child soldier killed in Sri Lanka mine attack: UNICEF

Apr.17 (AFP) – A Tamil Tiger child soldier has been killed in a Claymore mine blast in northern Sri Lanka, the UN agency for children said Monday. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it deplored the death of a 17-year-old fighter of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a mine attack last week in the northern district of Vavuniya and asked the guerrillas to demobilise all child soldiers.

“This incident underlines the risks children are exposed to when used in direct combat or in support roles such as delivery of supplies,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“Recruitment of children is a direct violation of their right to protection from violence. UNICEF calls on the LTTE to immediately release all under-age recruits within its ranks and to cease recruitment of children.”

At least 63 people, mostly security personnel, have been killed in a spate of bomb attacks in the past week in Sri Lanka, in the latest upsurge of violence linked to the decades-old Tamil separatist conflict.