Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have put down their weapons after 26 years of fighting for an ethnic homeland—though not without a final flurry of suicide attacks on government forces. “This battle has reached its bitter end,” said the group's leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, who is thought to be hiding outside the country. “We have decided to silence our guns. Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer." The army recently freed all 50,000 civilians who were being held hostage by the Tigers in a small coconut grove on the northeastern coast. The rebels once controlled about a third of the country; they have threatened to continue their struggle underground by tapping into their network in the 73 million-strong Tamil diaspora.