Tamil Tigers: 'Battle Has Reached Its End'

Sri Lanka president earlier declared victory
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 17, 2009 6:52 AM CDT
A Sri Lankan soldier stands guard as others march during the funeral of Lance Corporal Roshan Pradeep Rodrigo in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
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(Newser) – Sri Lanka's rebel Tamil Tigers have declared a ceasefire after a 26-year war in a statement lamenting thousands of deaths in the past 24 hours, the BBC reports. “This battle has reached its bitter end,” said a Tamil Tigers spokesman on the group’s website. The statement later appeared slightly altered, saying the force was “prepared to silence its guns if that is what needed by the international community to save the life and dignity of the Tamil people.”

Some 3,000 civilians had been killed in the past day, with 25,000 critically injured, according to the Tigers. The government said all civilians fled the war zone. Sri Lanka’s president declared victory against the Tigers earlier today, but officials say fighting hasn’t stopped in a square mile of jungle where the TIgers are trapped.