UN says Tigers killing civilians in Sri Lanka war zone
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Author:  Saman [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  UN says Tigers killing civilians in Sri Lanka war zone

UN says Tigers killing civilians in Sri Lanka war zone

Monday, February 16, 2009
@ Agencies / UN

Tamil Tigers have prevented tens of thousands of civilians from leaving war zone and those trying to escape have been "shot and sometimes killed," the United Nations said Monday. "A growing number of people trying to leave have been shot and sometimes killed," the UN office here said in a statement, adding the Tigers were also recruiting child soldiers as young as 14 years old.

The UN said 15 of its local staff and 75 of their dependants were not allowed to leave the war zone by the Tamil Tigers, who had forcibly recruited one of the UN staffers on Sunday. "We are especially concerned that one staff member was reported forcibly recruited into the LTTE yesterday (Sunday)," the UN statement said. "The UN calls on the LTTE to immediately release him, to desist from further recruitment of civilians, and to permit passage for people who wish to leave, especially the women and children."

There has been no response from the Tamil Tigers to the latest reports but in the past they have said civilians are frightened and are seeking shelter from the rebels. They have denied trying to prevent civilians leaving or shooting at them and say the military is constantly firing artillery shells into civilian zones.

The UN, the United States and Britain have asked the Tigers to allow civilians to leave the conflict zone while urging the Colombo government to declare a temporary truce. Both have rejected the calls.

On Saturday, the defence ministry accused the Tigers of a grenade attack that killed a woman and wounded 13 people who were trying to flee the shrinking area still under rebel control.

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