Sri Lanka Tigers sign up child soldiers: UNICEF

February 17, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s cornered Tamil Tiger rebels have intensified conscription of child soldiers, some as young as 14, the United Nations agency for children said Tuesday. The Tigers have recruited more than 6,000 child soldiers since 2002, he added. UNICEF said in a statement that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had stepped up recruitment of the children as the rebels prepare to take a last stand against advancing government forces.

“We have clear indications that the LTTE has intensified forcible recruitment of civilians and that children as young as 14 years old are now being targeted,” said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF’s chief in Sri Lanka, said.