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Sri Lanka Says Last Rebel Stronghold Captured

Sri Lanka's army chief says troops have captured the Tamil Tigers' last urban stronghold and confined the rebels to a stretch of jungle in the northeast.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said on national television Sunday that the military has completely captured the northeastern port of Mullaittivu.

Troops entered the fortified town earlier today amid heavy fighting, about three weeks after reaching its edges.

It was the last major town under Tamil Tiger control.

The general says the rebels are now confined to a 300-square-kilometer area of jungle, and he vows that the end of the war is near.

Tamil Tiger rebels did not immediately comment on the army commander's statements.

Today's reported capture of Mullaittivu follows a series of military victories in recent weeks, including the capture of the rebels' de-facto capital, Kilinochchi, and the seizure of the strategic Elephant Pass.

Journalists are barred from the war zone, making it difficult to confirm reports from either side of the conflict.

Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting for an independent homeland since 1983. The group says Tamils have been marginalized by the majority Sinhalese population. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the civil war.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.