Twenty inmates escaped from custody after the truck they were being transported in was ambushed in Johannesburg. Police have provided mug shots of the men. Ten of the suspects featured. Photo: Supplied by SA Police Service

Johannesburg - Johannesburg police on Wednesday released the photographs of awaiting trial prisoners who escaped during an ambush on Tuesday.

The 20 suspects, facing alleged crimes ranging from murder, culpable homicide and robbery, were being escorted to the Johannesburg Correctional Services from the Johannesburg Magistrates' Court when the vehicle was ambushed by armed men.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed the escape but said no rearrests had been made at this stage. 

Dlamini also confirmed that a "massive manhunt" had been launched for the awaiting trial prisoners, one of whom had already been sentenced to 17 years imprisonment following an armed robbery conviction.

Details of the prisoners will be released at a later stage as the investigation continues, Dlamini said. 

He also urged members of the public to contact the police's 24-hour crime line on 08600 10111 if they had any information on the escaped suspects.