"We can announce very responsibly that we have liberated the whole country from terrorism," he told state television.
Sri Lanka's army chief Lt. Gen. Sareth Fonseka, said on television that his troops routed the last rebels from the northern war zone Monday morning and were working to identify Prabhakaran's body from among the dead.
Velupillai Prabhakaran: The elusive Tiger
The announcement sparked mass celebrations around the country, and people poured into the streets of Colombo dancing and singing.
Image: Sri Lankans hold national flags as they parade in a street to celebrate the victory of military over Tamil Tiger rebels in Colombo on May 18.
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