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Police launched a murder inquiry yesterday after a man was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend during a "road rage" attack on the M25.

An argument broke out between the driver of a Bedford van and a man driving a Land-Rover after both vehicles pulled up along a slip road at Junction 3, near Swanley, in Kent, yesterday lunchtime. The van driver was stabbed and then the Land-Rover driver, described as white and in his forties, drove off in the direction of the Dartford Tunnel.

The victim, who has not been named, but who is believed to be from the London area, was taken to West Hill Hospital, Dartford, but doctors were unable to save him. It is believed that he managed to give a brief description of the attacker and the registration number of the Land-Rover before he died with his girlfriend at his bedside.

Although the junction had security cameras in place, they were not in operation at the time of the incident. Kent police are appealing for witnesses.