French Justice Ministry said in a statement, that an inmate at the high-security Conde-sur-Sarthe jail, northwestern France, took two guards hostage on Tuesday.
At least one officer has been injured in the eye, the ministry said, adding that the incident began at 10:15 a.m. local time
French broadcaster BFMTV had reported that the two officers held were a man and a woman. The female guard was freed after several hours, according to BFMTV.
Negotiations were underway to try to secure the release of the guards, the ministry said.
Authorities mobilized security units at the jail and dispatched extra forces to the facility, about 250 km (155 miles) west of Paris.
The suspected attacker was a prisoner serving a life sentence, local newspaper Ouest France reported in its online edition. According to the paper, he had been admitted to the facility less than a month ago.
BFMTV said the man had been convicted of rape and murder.
The prison in Conde-sur-Sarthe has a reputation for housing dangerous or radicalized prisoners.
A similar incident took place in the same prison in 2019, when an inmate held a guard hostage and a trainee for hours before security teams rescued them.