Two inmates at Korydallos high-security prison, in southwestern Athens, were holding three guards hostage late on Monday after what appeared to be a failed escape attempt.
Members of Greece’s special police force (EKAM) were attempting to end the standoff after reports that four female hostages had been released by the armed prisoners.
Authorities said that they believed a gun had been smuggled into the prison during visiting hours earlier in the day and that the two guards were subsequently taken hostage along with some relatives of a prison inmate.
Police sources said that the hostage takers were Panayiotis Vlastos, a convicted kidnapper, and four suspected members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire – an urban guerrilla group that was involved in bloodless bomb attacks.
It is believed that three prison guards were still being held hostage late on Monday.