War with LTTE to end in 48 Hours: Rajapaksa

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Colombo, May 15 (ANI): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the ongoing conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will conclude within next 48 hours.

It will take place with the rescuing of all civilians caught in fighting in a shrinking strip of land held by the rebels in northeast, the Government quoted him to have said on Thursday night.

On Friday, the Government Director of Information told media that Rajapaksa made the declaration while addressing Sri Lankans living in Jordan during his two-day official visit to the country.

The announcement has come as the military kept up its offensive to crush the Tamil Tigers on Thursday in the rebel group's last remaining stronghold despite the U.N. Security Council's expression of grave concern over a worsening humanitarian crisis in the war zone.

Troops have surrounded the Tamil rebels in Karayimullivaikkal and Mullivalikkal areas-just 3.5 sq km in extent in the northeastern Mullaithivu district.

Also, the United States President Barack Obama on Thursday warned that the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka could turn into a "catastrophe" and asked Colombo to put an end to "indiscriminate" shelling in the northern war zone and the LTTE to lay down arms and stop using civilians as "human shields". (ANI)

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