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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Fewer tsunami orphans than feared

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. Children's Fund says there were probably fewer orphans than originally thought in Asia's tsunami-hit areas, and efforts should be directed towards uniting children with family members.

Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF, spoke on Friday just hours after the U.N. agency spoke of reports that Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers were recruiting children displaced by the tsunami and said it had told the rebels to leave under-age survivors alone.

Indonesia found almost 4,000 more bodies, taking the global death toll from the disaster to more than 162,000 with searches completed in areas most damaged by the December 26 tsunami.

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