Tamil Tigers surrender

Colombo, May 17 (Prensa Latina) Sri Lanka''s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Sunday have admitted their defeat after almost three decades of long and bloody conflict that killed almost 80,000 people.

In a statement published on pro-rebel website TamilNet.com, the rebels' international relations chief Kumaran Pathmanadan said their battle has reached what he called 'its bitter end'.

We have just a single option left: to stop fighting to remove the government's last weak excuse for killing Tamil people. We have decided with anger to silence our guns. Alone we regret the loss of lives and that we could not longer sustain ourselves, the statement says.

The release reiterates LTTEƂ�s call to the international community to helps save the Tamil people.

The official statement came out to the public light after the military forces captured the last strongholds in the hands of the Tamil rebels, in the northeast of the district of Mullaitivu.

The government says almost all civilians trapped in the war zone have escaped. It says about 51,000 have fled the area since Thursday.

Clashes seems to continue Sunday morning in parts of the war torn area, and the military said it killed at least 70 rebels who tried to flee the enclave by sailing across a lagoon on several boats.

It also said at least one Tamil suicide bomber attacked government troops.

The ColomboPage service claimed the body of LTTE supreme chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran was found, although his identity has not yet been confirmed.