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6 decades later, Dutch state apologizes to relatives over Indonesian massacre
RAWAGEDE, Indonesia (AP) ' The Dutch government has apologized to relatives of men killed in a notorious massacre during Indonesia's bitter struggle for independence.
Tjeerd de Zwaan, the ambassador to Indonesia, made the announcement Friday in Rawagede village, where up to 430 boys and young men were killed execution-style by Dutch soldiers on Dec. 9, 1947.
The crowd, tense with emotion, broke into applause.
Tears rolled down the cheeks of the surviving widows, now in their 80s and 90s.
Dutch troops clinging to their retreating colonial empire arrived in Rawagede before dawn 64 years ago in search of a resistance leader they accused of attacking their bases.
When villagers said they didn't know where he was, soldiers rounded up nearly all the men and shot them one-by-one.