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UN Envoy to Release Report on Philippines Political Killings

A United Nations official investigating hundreds of political killings in the Philippines said he will disclose preliminary conclusions of his probe during a news conference Wednesday.

Philip Alston conducted a 10-day mission, investigating extrajudicial killings that human rights groups say have claimed more than 800 lives over the past six years.

Alston pressed left-wing legislators Tuesday to respond to government allegations that they have links to communist rebels, who are suspected in the killings.

A previous government report into the deaths said that parts of the military and communist rebels were behind most of the shootings.

Alston was invited to investigate by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who has pledged to end political violence.

Alston called his inquiry objective and neutral.

The Philippine human rights group Karpatan says more than 800 political, labor and human rights activists have been killed since President Gloria Arroyo came to power in 2001.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.