Into the third month of its renewed offensive against rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), the military said its campaign was not time bound.

“What is clear, the operation to crush Aceh separatist rebels is not limited to six months. As long as those rebels still exist, they will have to be rooted out,” Aceh military commander Major General Endang Suwarya said.

The Indonesian army imposed martial law in its troubled Aceh province and launched an  offensive against the rebels on May 19, after peace talks failed.

The martial law was to be in force for six months but the government has now said it can be extended.

"What is clear, the operation to crush Aceh separatist rebels is not limited to six months. As long as those rebels still exist, they will have to be rooted out"

Army Commander

The Indonesian army claims to be succeeding in its offensive, killing 531 rebels and seizing a sizable number of weapons. 

Another 1277 rebels have either surrendered or been captured.

But the conflict in Aceh has led to global consternation, with human rights groups accusing both sides of gross abuses.

On the northern-tip of Sumatra islands, Aceh has been raked by violence ever since the demand for its independence from Indonesian rule first erupted in 1976.

More than 10,000 people have died till date in the continuing violence.