updated 1/13/2005 9:10:43 AM ET 2005-01-13T14:10:43

Tamil Tiger rebels have recruited three children who were living in tsunami refugee camps to be soldiers, the chief of UNICEF in Sri Lanka said Thursday.

“There are three verified cases of child recruitment,” Ted Chaiban told reporters. “We are currently advocating with the LTT (Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam) to get the children released.”

It was not immediately clear how old the children are or if their parents survived the tsunami.

All three children are from eastern Sri Lanka, one of the island nation’s worst-hit regions from the Dec. 26 tsunami that killed about 31,000 people in Sri Lanka.

The rebels are known for recruiting children to bolster their ranks in their fight for a separate homeland campaign. A Norwegian-brokered cease-fire halted Sri Lanka’s civil war in February 2002. But both the sides have failed to reach a peace agreement.

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