JAKARTA - Indonesian troops have killed seven separatist rebels in the latest clashes in Aceh, ahead of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's first visit to the province. The military says soldiers have shot dead the Free Aceh Movement, or GAM, rebels in separate clashes. Mr Yudhoyono is to leave Jakarta on Friday for Aceh on his first visit to the province since taking office last month.
He is scheduled to hold talks with Acehnese religious and community leaders, and is also expected to attend prayers at the capital's main Baiturrahman mosque. The president last week extended a state of emergency in Aceh for another six months and offered an amnesty to rebels willing to surrender. Eighteen months ago the military launched a campaign against the GAM, which has been fighting since for independence 1976.