A 37-year-old policeman was killed early on Monday near the village of Distomo in the prefecture of Viotia when gunmen in a car, believed to be fugitives from Trikala Prison, opened fire on officers manning a road block.

According to police sources, the father-of-two was hit in the thigh by one of the bullets and died in a local hospital after medics failed to stop the hemorrhage.

The victim's wife is pregnant with their third child, sources said.

A police manhunt, launched immediately after the shootout, was intensified later on Monday.