Indonesia hunts scores of inmates after jailbreak

A prison guard stand beside prisoners who escaped from the Sialang Bungkuk jail in Pekanbaru, on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, May 6, 2017, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. — Reuters pic
A prison guard stand beside prisoners who escaped from the Sialang Bungkuk jail in Pekanbaru, on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, May 6, 2017, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. — Reuters pic

MEDAN, May 16 — At least 100 prisoners are on the run from an Indonesian jail, authorities said today, after the Southeast Asian nation’s second mass prison escape in less than a week.

Prisoners fled the from the jail for narcotics convicts in North Sumatra province today after starting a fire in response to complaints about the treatment of a fellow prisoner, authorities said.

“They were angry and burned prison officers’ motorbikes,” said Solden, a local resident.

Hundreds of inmates intially escaped from the detention centre, but most were soon recaptured.

At least 100 others are still at large.

“They should surrender and serve the remainder of their sentences,” North Sumatra police chief Agus Andrianto said.

“Running away won’t solve the problem — it will only create more problems,” he added.

Today’s jailbreak comes after more than 100 inmates escaped Saturday from another jail in Sumatra following a riot that broke out after guards beat several inmates who were caught using methamphetamine.

Three detainees suffered stab wounds and a policeman was shot during the rioting, the local health office told AFP.

Some prisoners were recaptured but dozens are still on the run, authorities said.

Jailbreaks are not uncommon in Indonesia where inmates are often held in crowded, unsanitary conditions.

There was a spate of breakouts in 2013, including one where about 150 prisoners — including terror convicts — escaped from a jail. — AFP

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