ITN - Sri Lanka's army chief has announced the end of combat operations against the Tamil Tigers, saying they are "totally defeated".
The victory has put the entire nation under government control for the first time since 1983, the military said.
"Heroic troops liberated the entire area from LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), killing more than 250 Tigers," a national security spokesman said.
Sri Lankan troops had been fighting the remnants of the rebel group, who were holed-up in bunkers dug into a small strip of sandy land on the Indian Ocean island's northeastern coast.
Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran's body has been recovered from an ambulance which was destroyed by troops as it sped out of the war zone, military sources said.
Click to view image: 'Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran dead'
"It was confirmed Prabhakaran was killed when trying to flee in an ambulance before dawn. We are waiting for the official announcement by the president," a military source said. Four others sources confirmed the account.
There was no immediate official comment from the military.
Sri Lankan state TV also broadcast images of the corpse of Prabhakaran's son and heir apparent, Charles Anthony, for the first time.
Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the bodies of Tiger political wing head B Nadesan and spokesman Seevaratnam Puleedevan were also found.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared a military victory on Saturday even though the last battle was raging.
He is due to make his formal declaration of victory on Tuesday. The LTTE conceded defeat in the 25-year civil war on Sunday which has claimed an estimated 70,000 lives.
As the end came the government rejected calls for a truce to protect civilians, and the Tigers Tigers refused to surrender and free 50,000-100,000 people the United Nations and others said they were holding as human shields.
Each side accuses the other of killing civilians, and diplomats say there is evidence both have done so. The UN rights chief said she backed an inquiry into potential war crimes and humanitarian violations by both sides.
The final battle intensified after the last of the 72,000 civilians remaining in the war zone were reported freed on Sunday.
But diplomats and aid workers said they feared some civilians may still have been inside the war zone after the military had declared it freed non-combatants.
Those remaining are likely to be relatives of LTTE members or diehard supporters, the military said.
On Sunday, the Tamil Tigers said that 3,000 people were dead and 25,000 wounded. The government has repeatedly accused the Tigers of manufacturing or exaggerating civilian deaths to gain international sympathy so it can buy time to rearm.
Up to 8,000 people are estimated to have already been killed in fighting in the country this year.
Meanwhile, protesters burned an effigy of Foreign Secretary David Miliband as a large crowd gathered outside the British High Commission in Sri Lanka and accused the Government of supporting the Tamil Tiger rebels.
More than 1,000 people massed outside the building in Colombo.
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