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Sri Lanka troops mopping up defeated Tigers: military

Sri Lanka's military said Monday they were carrying out mopping-up operations against the final remnants of Tamil Tiger rebels holed up in a tiny patch of northeastern jungle.

world Updated: May 18, 2009 09:49 IST

Sri Lanka's military said Monday they were carrying out mopping-up operations against the final remnants of Tamil Tiger rebels holed up in a tiny patch of northeastern jungle.

The guerrillas announced Sunday that they were silencing their guns after declaring their war for an ethnic Tamil homeland at an end in the face of a fierce government offensive.

"Our troops are on mopping-up operations today," Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said, adding that remnants of the Tigers continued to offer resistance.

Nanayakkara said that there was no information about the Tigers' leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, 54.

"We still believe that he is holed up in the jungle patch of land they have," Nanayakkara said. "We have not confronted him yet and we will deal with him appropriately when we do."

The defence ministry said in a statement that security forces had found a body thought to be that of Prabhakaran's 24-year-old son, Charles Anthony.

There was no immediate comment from the Tigers on fighting, but the group's international representative, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, said in a statement on the pro-rebel Tamilnet website Sunday that the war was at "its bitter end."

"We have decided to silence our guns," he said. "Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer."

He called for peace negotiations, but officials said the government shrugged off the offer.