British spies played a part in the mass murder of Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) members in the 1960s, urging locals, including army generals, to “cut out” the “communist cancer,” declassified papers have revealed.

The Indonesian Army’s brutal clampdown on the PKI in 1965 and 1966 is considered to be one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century. Between 500,000 and three million supporters of the Communist Party were slaughtered, according to various estimations.

Declassified Foreign Office documents, which were recently released by Britain’s National Archives and seen by The Guardian newspaper, indicate that the UK isn’t without fault in those shocking events.

The British Foreign Office had always denied the country’s involvement in the brutal clampdown on those blamed of communist links in Indonesia.

But it turns out that London focused its propaganda machine on the founding Indonesian President Sukarno and his communist backers over the leader’s stern opposition to the Federation of Malaya, which the UK thought should unite its former colonies in the region.

Tensions between the PKI and the Indonesian military had been mounting since the early 1960s, with the president struggling to balance the rivaling forces. The army-sponsored massacre of communists began after a failed coup attempt by the supporters of Sukarno within the army ranks on October 1, 1965.

Several months before that, a team of specialists from the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD) had already been deployed in Singapore to produce black propaganda to undermine Sukarno’s rule, according to The Guardian. The failed coup only made it easier for the propagandists to influence their intended audience, which included anti-communist politicians and Indonesian army generals. (RT)