Latest Indonesian jailbreak sees drug convicts escape

Fire-fighters stand outside Tanjung Gusta prison in Medan, which was set ablaze by inmates after a riot on July 11, 2013.

BATAM, Indonesia - Eleven prisoners escaped from an Indonesian jail on Wednesday, police said, less than a week after 200 inmates broke out of another prison, half of whom are still on the run.

The 11 men, all serving time for drug offences, escaped through a window after breaking into the warden's office at the Baloi jail on Batam island, part of the Riau Islands south of Singapore.

"One of the guards was beaten. The prisoners who ran away armed themselves with large iron bars to smash the window and escape," Riau Islands province police chief Endjang Sudrajat told reporters.

Local resident Elvina Manulang said she saw the escapees board a public minivan. "The minivans are always passing by the prison. They forced the driver to take them," she said.

Like many Indonesian prisons, the jail was overcrowded. It was built for 250 inmates but held 468.

The jailbreak comes six days after some 200 prisoners escaped the Tanjung Gusta prison in Sumatra's Medan city, where detainees angered by regular electricity and water stoppages rioted and lit fires.

Five people were killed in the riots, and police and military officers are still searching for around 100 prisoners, including four convicted militants, North Sumatra province police spokesman Heru Prakoso told AFP.

"We are targeting the terrorists, and are working closely with authorities in neighbouring countries, such as Malaysia, to ensure we have them returned," Prakoso said.