Sri Lanka war to end in 48 hours: 2009-05-15 COLOMBO, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's over 30-year-old conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels is to end within the next 48 hours, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has said. Sri Lanka's troops have been surrounding the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Karayimullivaikkal and Mullivalikkal areas - just 3.5 sq km in extent in the northeastern Mullaithivu district. Meanwhile the troops said that they had heard a loud explosion followed by a thick black smoke coming 200 meters high from the rebel holds around 6.30 p.m. local time Thursday (1230 GMT). All rebel communications had ceased after the explosion, military said. The whereabouts of senior rebel leaders are still not known despite military's inching on to the areas they hold. More than 70,000 died in the island's separatist war waged by the Tiger rebels to carve out a separate homeland for the minority Tamils.