A jailbreak in western Indonesia has left 90 inmates on the run after they escaped during prayer time, according to police.
The mass escape took place on Thursday in Banda Aceh, although some inmates were promptly recaptured, the justice ministry said on Friday.
“There were 726 inmates at the time, 113 of them ran away. We have recaptured 23 of them but are still searching for the other escapees,” said justice ministry spokesman Ade Kusmanto, as cited by AFP news agency.
The break at Lambaro prison occurred when all the inmates were let out of their cells to take part in evening prayers, according to police.
Trisno Riyanto, police chief in Banda Aceh, said the inmates were mostly convicted of drug offences and apparently planned their escape in advance.
They overpowered a guard, cut through the wire and iron bars using barbells and crowbars in the reception room and made a dash through the rice fields in front of the prison, he told AP news agency. The guard’s injuries were not serious.
The police have heightened security at the prison and set up roadblocks across Aceh province to search for the inmates still on the run.
Aceh provincial police chief Rio Septianda Djambak called on the escaped prisoners to surrender within three days and urged their relatives to support authorities in bringing them back.
“We will not hesitate to take firm action to force them to obey the law,” Djambak said.
More than 400 inmates broke out after mass prayers at an overcrowded prison in Riau province in May this year.
In July 2013, about 240 prisoners escaped during a deadly riot at a prison in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.