Colombo, May 18 (ANI): Liberation of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief Velupillai Prabhakaran has reportedly been shot dead along with his son Charles Antony and other Tiger commanders.
Unofficial reports said Prabhakaran was ambushed and shot dead while trying to flee Special Forces who closed in on the last rebel fortification.
A Sri Lankan military spokesman said that there has been no identification of Prabhakaran as yet.
There were reports that only DNA verification would confirm Prabhakaran's death, as he was known to move around with two doubles.
Earlier in the day, the Sri Lankan Army had claimed that Prabhakaran was alive and surrounded by government troops.
On Sunday, four senior rebel leaders were killed in fighting, the army said.
They included the head of the Tigers" political wing, Balasingham Nadesan, the head of rebels" peace secretariat Seevaratnam Puleedevan, and a military leader known as Ramesh.
The latest claims cannot be verified as reporters are barred from the war zone.
If confirmed, Prabhakaran's death could signal the end of the nearly three decade-long civil-ethnic war that cost the island nation the lives of thousands of innocent civilians.
Meanwhile, injured civilians continue to leave Sri Lanka"s war zone to get medical care.
The movement of civilians out of the war zone comes as the LTTE conceded defeat after sending out suicide attackers as part of a last-ditch attempt to keep the military"s final assault at bay on the square kilometre they control.
"This battle has reached its bitter end. We have decided to silence our guns," the LTTE"s diplomatic chief, Selvarajah Pathmanathan, said in a statement posted on the pro-rebel web site www.TamilNet.com on Sunday
A day before, Sri Lanka"s President Mahinda Rajapaksa had declared victory after troops seized the entire coast for the first time since the war erupted in 1983. (ANI)