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Indonesia massacres: Declassified US files shed new light

October 17, 2017 4:03 pm

US authorities knew about the mass killings in Indonesia in 1965-1966, declassified documents have revealed.

They show US staff in Jakarta had detailed information about what they described in telegrams as “slaughter” and at times “indiscriminate killings”.

Violence was unleashed after communists were accused of killing six generals.

One of the worst massacres of the 20th Century, the period was a taboo topic in Indonesia for almost 50 years and remains extremely sensitive today.

The attempted coup came during the peak of the Cold War, and a battle for power was in full swing between communists, the military and Islamist groups.

The army and local Muslim militia went on a rampage, killing at least 500,000 people and up to three million people within a year, it is estimated.

The US documents expose an intimate knowledge of the Indonesian army’s operations to “completely clean up” the Communist Party and leftist groups.