French Police
French PoliceiStock

The police in France are hunting for a number of armed men who ambushed a police vehicle and murdered two guards who were taking a mafia-member prisoner into custody.

The armed men managed to escape together with the prisoner and an extensive manhunt is currently underway to find them.

Three guards were also seriously injured in the incident, which occurred at a toll collection checkpoint on the A154 highway, near Aincreville, France.

The television channel BFMTV stated that the attack occurred while a convoy of French prison service vehicles was making its way back from a court hearing to the prison where the escaped prisoner was being held.

The video clips distributed on social networks show a car colliding with the front of one of the police vehicles and at least two armed men are seen with drawn weapons.

A French police official told Reuters that the escaped prisoner was suspected of ordering a murder in Marseille, and said that he had connections to powerful mafia gangs in that city. La Figaro reported that the escaped prisoner's nickname is The Fly and that he has several convictions for drug offenses and attempted murder.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his repugnance at the murder of the guards and said that the targeted attack "has shocked us all." In a tweet on X, he added: "The nation stands besides the families of the prison guards, the injured and their fellow workers. We will do everything to bring those responsible for this crime to justice."