"Sri Lankan armed forces have militarily defeated the LTTE and freed the nation from three decades of terror", army chief Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka said on Monday after Tamil Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed in the island's north.
All top leaders had now been killed and the process of identifying the bodies was underway, the Sri Lankan military announced.
Prabhakaran was killed while trying to escape the battlezone in the island's north along with two of his top aides.
Prabhakaran, 54, was in a convoy of a van and an ambulance with Pottu Amman, head of the intelligence wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and Sea Tigers chief Soosai when the military opened fire in an isolated strip of Mullaitivu district.
Prabhakaran's death comes shortly after soldiers stumbled upon the bodies of several key LTTE leaders, including his son Charles Anthony, who headed the group's IT wing and was being groomed to take over his father's mantle.