JAKARTA - Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has offered his support to Indonesia in its fight against separatist rebels in Aceh. The Indonesian military has denied that its forces have killed any civilians in Aceh, where an escalating offensive against separatist rebels is in its sixth day. Villagers in the northern Sumatran province say Indonesian troops have shot dead seven young men and boys.
Mr Downer says Australia is behind Indonesia in its push to quell the rebels. "Let's not have any illusions about this - you do have a secessionist movement which has opted for violence," he said. "Aceh has always been a part of Indonesia. It was part of the Dutch East Indies before Indonesian independence. "We absolutely support Indonesia's territorial integrity."