Authorities in Bahrain say security forces killed three men and arrested seven others during a sea-based gunbattle as they tried to flee to Iran.
Authorities said on February 9 that most of the men were tied to a deadly jailbreak last month in Bahrain.
The Interior Ministry said the men were on a boat headed toward Iranian waters when they were intercepted by the coast guard.
They said the arrested men told them they were going to meet contacts.
Police said earlier that 10 inmates escaped on New Year’s Day when gunmen armed with automatic rifles and pistols stormed a prison, killing one police officer.
Thousands of Shi'ite Muslim Bahrainis are being held in jails on charges ranging from participating in antigovernment protests to armed attacks on security forces.
Bahrain is a strategic U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. Its majority Shi’ite population has complained of being marginalized by ruling Sunni authorities.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters