Sri Lankan officials say at least four people have been killed in clashes since unidentified gunmen killed a Tamil legislator Sunday.

Officials say soldiers shot and killed two suspected Tamil Tiger rebels during a search operation in the city of Batticaloa early Monday. And two civilians were killed overnight in the neighboring Trincomalee district.

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the funeral of Tamil legislator Joseph Pararajasingham, a key figure in the Tamil National Alliance party. He was shot dead while attending Christmas Mass in Batticaloa.

The violence is the latest in a series of deadly attacks since rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran threatened to resume his struggle for an independent Tamil homeland if the government fails to reach a peace settlement within the next year.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.