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Prisoners Flee After Tsunami Hits Indonesia Jail

JAKARTA (Reuters) - More than 200 prisoners escaped from a jail in Indonesia's restive Aceh province Sunday after a tsunami knocked down the prison walls, a police official said.

Ali Taruna Jaya, police chief in the town of Pidie, said a few of the 204 inmates who fled from the coastal jail had given themselves up.

"The prisoners escaped from the jail. It appears some did it for their own safety after the tsunami crashed into the jail," Jaya told Metro TV.

He said he had had no reports on any deaths in Pidie after the tsunami, triggered by a powerful earthquake off the coast of Sumatra island. The tsunami has killed more than 168 people so far in Indonesia, many across Aceh on Sumatra's northern tip.

It was unclear if any of the escapees were members of the Free Aceh Movement, which has waged a long-running insurgency in the province.

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All information is Copyright 1997 - 2006 'Foreign Prisoner Support Service' unless stated otherwise - Click here for the legal stuff