Eight terrorists of the banned group Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) escaped early on Monday from the Bhopal Central Jail after killing a security guard.

The prisoners broke the gate and scaled walls using bedspreads. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhoopendra Singh told IANS, "Eight SIMI terrorists managed to escape the jail on late Sunday night after killing one guard and taking another hostage."

The Madhya Pradesh Police sounded a high alert. The state border was sealed following the jailbreak, security was tightened and a search operation was launched to nab the terrorists, Singh said.

The jailbreak took place between 12 and 2 am on Sunday. The prisoners broke open prison gates and then fashioned ropes out of bedspreads to scale the boundary walls, said the jail authorities.

All escapees were facing treason charges. Singh accepted that the incident points to a major security lapse. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan recently instructed for more stringent security arrangements at all state facilities.