Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are "slowly giving up" their fight against advancing government troops and large numbers of civilians have managed to flee the war zone, the island's military said on Friday.
"They are slowly giving up. They are blowing up whatever arms and ammunition they have," military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.
He said around 10,000 civilians managed to flee into government territory, and that there was now "hardly anybody left" inside the tiny rebel-held zone on the northeast coast, the last part of the island where the Tigers are fighting.
There was no immediate word from the rebels, but the pro-Tiger Tamilnet website said the last remaining rebel territory was engulfed in smoke, with close-quarter combat raging.