Manama: A massive hunt has been launched in Bahrain to arrest two convicts who escaped from a prison in Jaww in the south east of the country.

Several checkpoints have been set up in major areas to track Redha Al Ghasra, 26, and Hussain Jasem Al Banna who reportedly escaped at around 3am on Monday. Their escape was discovered at around 6am, local daily Al Ayam reported, citing sources it did not identify. The two convicts are believed to have made their way through the adjacent sea.

Al Ghasra from the village of Bani Jamra, to the west of capital Manama, has been jailed for a combined total of 80 years after he was convicted in several terror-related cases. The last sentence of 15 years in prison and a BD1,000 fine was pronounced on February 16 after he was tried for illegally smuggling and possessing weapons and ammunition.

The inmate is yet to face more cases in court, including allegedly taking part in the explosion of a car near the Bahrain Financial Centre, in the commercial heart of Manama.

It is the second time Al Ghasra has escaped from prison.

On May 8, 2012, he managed to run away from the Dry Dock detention centre. Security forces arrested him one year later in Bani Jamra. Police said he had a gun when he was apprehended.

An investigation into how the two convicts escaped was ordered by Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the interior minister.

The probe team, headed by Deputy Chief of Public Security Major-General Naji Al Hashel, will “investigate the circumstances surrounding the escape” and will “assess personnel levels at the prison to ensure they meet standards.”

One immediate consequence of the escape was a decision by the minister to move the Reformation and Rehabilitation Directorate to place it under the direct supervision of the ministry’s undersecretary and the transfer of the Director of Reformation and Rehabilitation to the Public Security Presidency, the ministry said in a statement.