13 Jul 2013

Terrorists among prison escapers in Indonesia

6:10 am on 13 July 2013

Convicted terrorists are among the 200+ prisoners who escaped from an Indonesian jail during a deadly riot on Thursday night.

Three prison officers and two inmates died in the riot at the Tanjung Gusta prison.

The ABC reports the riot apparently broke out after power was cut to the building, leaving about 2600 inmates without water or electricity.

Security and political affairs minister Djoko Suyanto said nine convicted terrorists were among the escapees.

Four of the terrorists have since been recaptured, but the other five are still at large.

The Jakarta Post reported on Friday that police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said 15 of the prisoners who escaped were believed to be terrorists with links to Toni Togar, who is currently serving a sentence of 20 years in a separate prison for a series of church bombings in Sumatra in 2000.

Soldiers and police officers in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, have yet to track down many of the escapees.

"Chaos occurred because the water and electricity were off since 5am and by 5.30pm the prisoners protested and broke through the main door," Mr Amar said.

Citing Justice Minister Denny Indrayana, the newspaper said the Medan prison held more than 2500 inmates.

The ABC reported that would put the prison population nearly 150% above its capacity of 1054.