Malaysian shooting relatives lose UK court battle

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's appeals court has rejected a bid by Malaysian families for an investigation into the deaths of 24 rubber plantation workers shot by British troops 66 years ago.

Relatives have fought for years to force the British government to hold an inquiry into the deaths at Batang Kali on Dec. 12, 1948.

British troops were fighting communist insurgents during the Malayan Emergency at the time.

Their families claim the men were executed, but British authorities say they were shot trying to escape.

Britain's High Court rejected the families' legal challenge in 2012, citing cost and the amount of time that has passed. Three appeals court judges upheld that decision Wednesday.

John Halford, a lawyer for the appellants, said the families would take their case to Britain's Supreme Court.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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