COLOMBO, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lankan military said Wednesday that 13,000 Tamil Tiger rebels and 3,700 soldiers have been killed since July 2006 when the armed conflict between the two sides began to escalate.
Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara also told reporters that 1,500 cadres of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and 150 soldiers were killed in the last two months.
The Sri Lankan government said that its war against the LTTE is coming to an end as 95 percent of the territories formerly held by the rebels have been captured by the troops.
Defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the victory against the LTTE will be Sri Lanka’s “second independence” as it will pave the way for further development.
However, Rambukwella refused to forecast when the troops will capture the whole Mullaithivu district, the last area controlled by the LTTE.
Claiming discrimination at the hands of majority Sinhalese-dominated governments, the LTTE has been fighting for more than two decades to set up an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east.
More than 70,000 people have been killed so far in one of Asia’s longest civil wars.