Jan 30, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday lodged a formal protest with the United Nations alleging that security forces bombed a school bus and killed 18 civilians, mostly children, and accused them of targeting non-combatants. Among those dead on the bus were 12 children between the ages of eight and 16, the head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) political wing, B. Nadesan said in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
A similar roadside bomb, packed with steel balls, hit a minibus in November wounded six children, the rebels alleged.
The Tigers also accused the Sri Lankan air force of dropping bombs on villages in the rebel-held areas in the north, killing and wounding scores of civilians.
“Since the present president of Sri Lanka took office in November 2005, 2,056 Tamil civilians, including 132 Tamil children, have been massacred by Sri Lankan state forces,” Nadesan said.
“The deliberate targeting of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan state has continued even through the nearly six-year period of the ceasefire agreement signed in February 2002,” he said.
Colombo this month formally ended the Norwegian-brokered truce with the rebels as the military felt they were gaining the upper