Convict holding hostages in Greek prison surrenders: police

A notorious convicted murderer who held several people hostage at a prison in Greece for almost 24 hours surrendered on Sunday, a police source said.

The five hostages -- employees at the Malandrino prison in central Greece -- emerged unharmed after their ordeal, the ANA news agency reported.

Albanian national Alket Rizaj had caught prison guards by surprise on Saturday when he seized the hostages to demand his release, in circumstances that are still unclear.

Special police units were sent in to guard the prison and its surroundings while negotiations were under way with Rizaj.

ANA reported that one of those held captive had managed to escape on Sunday after police threw smoke bombs into the prison, leaving five hostages.

Rizaj had previously made two highly-publicised attempts to escape along with Greece's most notorious convict Vassilis Paleokostas.

The duo attempted two dramatic helicopter getaways from the Korydallos prison in Athens in 2006 and 2009.