Sri Lankan schoolchildren freed

A Tamil Tigers spokesman says the abduction of 21 school pupils was a "mistake".

    The Tigers have been accused of recruiting child soldiers [AP, file]
    The youngsters, who were attending a night tuition class, were taken to an LTTE training camp at Kanjikudichchiaru, the ministry said in a statement.
      
    The statement said: "The devastated parents of the abducted children have made a complaint to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission [SLMM] and afterwards left ... in search of their children."
     
    Child soldiers

    Norwegian-led monitors said they had no immediate information about the incident while Unicef said they were waiting to hear from field officers in the area where the abduction took place.
    LTTE separatists and a breakaway faction - known as the Karuna group - have been accused of conscripting child soldiers.
     
    Nordic truce monitors suspect Karuna is supported by some elements of the military and the UN has accused the military of colluding in their forced recruitment.
     
    The military has denied helping the Karuna group to round up children to be enlisted as fighters.
     
    Sri Lanka has seen a large number of abductions this year, which have been blamed both on the Tigers and Karuna.
     
    Civil war in Sir Lanka started in 1983, with the Tamil Tigers fighting for the independence of the minority Tamil community in the north and east of the country.
     
    The war is estimated to have killed more than 67,000 people and displaced tens of thousands of others.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.