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Tuesday, 14 March, 2000, 14:22 GMT
Indonesian president approves 1965 massacre inquiry


The Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid, has for the first time approved the idea of a judicial investigation into the massacre of thousands of alleged communists following an abortive coup in the late nineteen-sixties.

About half a million people were killed and many more were detained without trial. The massacre followed an attempted coup in 1965 in which several top generals were killed. The head of the army's strategic forces at the time, General Suharto, is believed to have been behind the purge which decimated the Communist Party.

He later seized power, ruling Indonesia until a popular uprising two years ago.

The possibility of an inquiry has been welcomed by victims' groups and the Muslim organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama, to which many of the killers belonged. It said it wanted the truth to be established.

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