MANAMA , Bahrain, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Armed men stormed a Bahrain prison early Sunday, killing a police officer and freeing several prisoners convicted of terror-related crimes, officials said.
The country's Ministry of Interior said the gunmen attacked Jau prison, located south of the capital Manama. It is not clear how many inmates were freed.
"Jail break attempt at Jau prison; policeman Abdul Salam Saif died attempting to prevent some convicts' escape," the ministry tweeted. "Several convicted terrorists escaped Jau prison; security and legal proceedings have been taken."
Officials said the prison has been placed on lockdown while the investigation continues. Investigators launched a massive manhunt to round up the escaped prisoners and suspects. Checkpoints have been established near and around the prison.
In 2015, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights found systematic psychological and physical torture and massive overcrowding at Jau. The center said the prison has an official capacity of 1,201 prisoners but some 2,700 inmates were housed there.