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Inmates escape in Indonesia's North Sumatra prison riot

16 May 2019, 21:14 ( 9 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Indonesian police officers stand guard at the site of a fire at a prison in Siak Sri Indrapura in Riau province, Indonesia, May 11, 2019. File Photo Xinhua/Hadly Vavaldi.

Hundreds of inmates in a prison for drug convicts in North Sumatra province's regency of Langkat managed to escape on Thursday following a riot incited by a conflict between wardens and the inmates.

   "That's true according to information that we received so far," Spokesman of Legal and Human Rights Ministry Provincial Office Josua Ginting said in the province capital of Medan later in the day.

   He said hundreds of inmates escaped, but the exact number has yet to be determined as an investigation is underway.

   "Hundreds of drug convicts took advantage of the chaotic situation," the spokesman quoted in local media said.

   The riot was incited by furious inmates to respond to the questioning process against a convict who was found stashing methamphetamine in the prison.

   The prison wardens were reportedly hit the inmate during the process as he resisted being questioned.

   According to reports, the inmates briefly controlled the prison during the riot. A group of inmates broke down the main gate and got away, reports said.

   Arson on several facilities and vehicles in the prison also occurred during the riot.

   There were 1,634 drug convicts in the prison when the riot took place at noon, reports said.

   Authorities have called the families of the escaped drug convicts to report whenever the escaped inmates returned home.

   Provincial police and troops have been deployed to the prison to restore order.