The Salvadoran civil war has caused 1,309 deaths this year, including nearly 500 government soldiers fighting leftist rebels, a Roman Catholic Church leader said. The toll included 24 civilians executed by rightist death squads, Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez said in a homily at San Salvador's Metropolitan Cathedral. The figures were compiled by the church's Legal Tutelage office, an independent human rights group. The numbers were similar to those released last week by the military, which listed 470 government soldiers and 1,004 rebels killed in 1987. Human rights groups estimate that as many as 65,000 people have been killed since the war began in 1979.