COLOMBO (Reuters/AFP) - The Tamil Tigers conceded defeat in Sri Lankas 25-year civil war on Sunday, with some staging suicide attacks to try to repel a final assault by troops determined to annihilate them. President Mahinda Rajapakse had already declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the day before, and the military said the bulk of the fighting was over by the time the rebels said they had been beaten. Even though there was little doubt about the final outcome of Asias longest modern war, sporadic battles were still being fought late on Sunday and no one was willing to predict when the last bullet would be fired. We are doing the mopping-up operations, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. Suicide cadres are coming in front of troops in the frontline and exploding themselves. Rajapakse is due to make a formal victory announcement in parliament on Tuesday (tomorrow) morning, but already flags were flying, people were dancing and lighting off fireworks in celebration. The last act was playing out in what the military said was less than one square km, where the LTTE carried out suicide attacks on Sunday before troops freed the last of 72,000 civilians who have fled over four days. LTTE founder-leader Vellupillai Prabhakarans fate remained a mystery, although military sources said a body believed to be his was recovered and its identity was being confirmed. The LTTE, founded on a culture of suicide before surrender, at the last minute issued a statement from its diplomatic chief saying: This battle has reached its bitter end. We remain with one last choice - to remove the last weak excuse of the enemy for killing our people. We have decided to silence our guns, said Selvarajah Pathmanathans statement, posted on the pro-rebel www.TamilNet web site. Pathmanathan, who is wanted by Interpol and was for years the LTTEs chief weapons smuggler, said 3,000 people lay dead and 25,000 more were wounded. There was still no confirmed word on the fate of Prabhakaran, who built the LTTE into one of the worlds most violent armed groups through hundreds of suicide bombings and assassinations, which earned it a terrorist designation in more than 30 nations. They are taking the body for checks to confirm it is the real Prabhakaran, a military official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Four other military sources confirmed the account. Nanayakkara denied Prabhakarans body had been found, and that checks on a corpse were being carried out. The cataclysmic end to the war came after the government rejected calls for a truce to protect civilians, and the Tigers refused to surrender and free 50,000-100,000 people the United Nations and others said they were holding as human shields. Rajapakse kissed the ground after he returned home early on Sunday from an official visit to Jordan, state TV showed. The Tigers have answered earlier battlefield losses with suicide bombings in the capital, Colombo. Meanwhile, a rebel official was quoted as saying Sunday that Prabhakaran is still holed up in the northeast of the island along with 2,000 fighters and thousands more injured civilians In a telephone interview with Britains Channel 4 news, the rebels chief of international relations said the veteran guerrilla leader wanted to stop the war and start a peace process.