Indonesia hunts scores of inmates after jailbreak in North Sumatra

MEDAN (AFP) - At least 100 prisoners are on the run from an Indonesian jail, the authorities said on Thursday (May 16). It is the country's second mass prison escape in less than a week.

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

"They were angry and burned prison officers' motorbikes," said Solden, a local resident who, like many Indonesians, goes by one name.

Hundreds of inmates initially 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.

Thursday's jailbreak comes after more than 100 inmates escaped on Saturday (May 11) 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 said.

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

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

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