JAKARATA (Reuters) – Indonesian soldiers and police joined a manhunt on Friday for 87 inmates still on the run after escaping from a prison in the western province of Aceh, officials said.
The 113 inmates who escaped from the Lambaro prison in Banda Aceh on Thursday had hurled water bottles laced with chilis at guards, and used barbells to smash windows, said Sri Puguh Budi Utami, Indonesia’s director of prisons.
Prison authorities quickly recaptured 26 inmates and 87 others were still at large, Utami said.
“We are still chasing the escapees along with the police and military,” she told reporters.
Jailbreaks and riots are common in Indonesian prisons, many of which struggle with overcrowding and a lack of funding.
Utami said the Lambaro prison had 726 inmates at the time of the escape. The prison has a capacity of 800, she said.
Thursday’s escape followed a riot at another Banda Aceh jail in January 2018, when hundreds of prisoners torched the prison complex.
(Reporting By Yuddy Cahya; Writing by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Darren Schuettler)