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Escapes, deaths in Indonesia prison riot

12 July 2013, 15:09

Jakarta - Five people were killed and dozens of detainees including terrorism convicts were on the run after a prison riot in Indonesia's North Sumatra province, police said on Friday.

The prison itself was back under control, police said.

Inmates broke out of their cells and set fire to an administrative room in the Tanjung Gusta prison in the provincial capital Medan late on Thursday, following a power blackout that knocked out the water supply, police said.

Three inmates and two prison employees were killed in the fire and 150 inmates escaped, said provincial police spokesperson Heru Prakoso.

Sixty-one escapees, including two of 11 convicted of terrorism, have since been recaptured, he said.

"We have managed to put the prison under control and the inmates are back in their cells," Prakoso said.

He said a decision on whether prisoners would be relocated from the partially burned facility was in the hands of the Justice Ministry.

Television footage showed hundreds of soldiers and police surrounding the prison while inmates shouted at them from the partially burned building.

Police also set up roadblocks and captured some of the escapees.

Metro TV said several convicts surrendered to the authorities, accompanied by their relatives.

Deputy Justice Minister Indrayana said the prison was designed to house 1 054 inmates but 2 600 people were interned there at the time of the riot.



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