A policeman was killed after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels lobbed a grenade at officers guarding a church in northwest Sri Lanka on Christmas day, the defence ministry said.
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked a police post providing security for the St. Lucia's church in Mannar district about 312 kilometres north of the capital Colombo early Monday, the ministry said.
There was no immediate reaction from the LTTE.
In another incident, two Tiger rebels were killed in a confrontation in the island nation's eastern Amparai district on Sunday, the ministry said.
Sri Lanka's army chief Sarath Fonseka has declared that troops would flush out members of the LTTE from the eastern province.
Military officials in the province said any action could begin with an onslaught against Tigers in Vakarai, one of the key population centres of the coastal district.
The United Nations and international truce monitors have voiced grave concern for civilians caught in crossfire between troops and the rebels at Vakarai.
The LTTE is fighting for independence for the island's minority 2.5 million Tamil community. The conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.