Tamil Tiger rebels put up stiff resistance to advancing government troops on Wednesday, in fresh heavy fighting which saw the beleaguered rebels launch a wave of suicide attacks, the military said.
At least 10 guerrillas died in three suicide boat strikes against army positions along the northeast coast, where the separatist rebels are locked in a tiny patch of jungle and totally surrounded, a statement said.
It said several government troops were wounded but gave no further details.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels, who according to the government now control just four square kilometres (1.5 square miles) of territory and are on the brink of total defeat.
The army's claims cannot be independently verified as independent journalists, diplomats and most aid agencies are barred from going anywhere near the conflict zone.