17 Feb 2014

Breakout on PNG's Manus Island confirmed by local doctor

12:04 pm on 17 February 2014

A doctor on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea has confirmed there was a "mass breakout" from an Australian detention centre for asylum seekers.

An Australia-based refugee group had claimed some of the 13-hundred detainees escaped after a day of protests.

Australia's Department of Immigration would only say there was a "disturbance" at the centre.

However, a local doctor, Dr Otto Numan, says health workers at the naval base where the detention centre is located, have confirmed an escape took place.

It is not clear what caused the unrest or how many people have escaped.