The first pictures have emerged of the violent battle fought over the last few days between Sri Lanka’s army and the Tamil Tigers. Independent reporters are banned from the war zone, but Sri Lankan television showed dozens of burning rebel guns and vehicles. It’s thought the Tigers destroyed them before being over-run. There are reports of Tiger fighters launching suicide attacks against the advancing soldiers.
State television also showed a bunker captured recently which had been used by Tiger commanders, including Vellupillai Prabhakaran. A body which may be that of the rebel leader has been found; he always swore to kill himself to avoid being captured alive. President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory in the 25-year war, claiming the Tigers had been destroyed as a fighting force. The government also said all civilian refugees trapped by the fighting had been rescued. Despite the celebrations in the Singhalese community, some fear the remaining Tiger fighters may now launch a guerrilla campaign having invented the practice of suicide bombings in the 1980s.