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Probe sought in Sri Lankan-Tamil war

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A video of alleged executions by Sri Lankan soldiers that aired last summer merits a war crimes probe, a U.N. human rights expert said Thursday.

Philip Alston, an independent expert on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said his investigation into possible war crimes committed during the conflict with Tamil rebels, indicated the government report wasn't thorough or impartial, the United Nations said in a release.

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"The conclusion clearly is that the video is authentic," Alston said "I have therefore called on the government of Sri Lanka to respond to these allegations."

The government has denied the allegations raised by the video, which purportedly shows extrajudicial execution of two Tamil men by the Sri Lankan military as well as claimed prior executions.

The government investigation concluded the video was a fake, but Alston said two of the government's experts were members of the Sri Lankan Army, the entity whose actions have been called into question.

Given the information the U.N. investigators found that disputed the government's claim "and in light of the persistent flow of other allegations of extrajudicial executions by both sides during the closing phases of the war against the (Tamil rebels), I call for the establishment of an independent inquiry to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law allegedly committed in Sri Lanka," Alston said.

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