Manhunt after attacker stabs girls

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A manhunt is under way today after three teenage girls were stabbed after getting off a bus.

The girls, aged 14, 15 and 17, had just got off a bus in East Street, Bridport, Dorset, when they were attacked by a man.

A police spokesman said the teenagers were rushed to the Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester where the younger girl was still in an intensive care unit while the others were being treated on a general ward.

The spokesman added that the elder girl had managed to contact police by telephone immediately after the attack at 5.51pm.

All three are in a stable condition and are being comforted by their parents, according to police.

Police sealed off the East Street area while the search was carried out for the attacker, described as a man in his early 20s with dark hair.

He was wearing a dark coloured bomber-style jacket, dark tracksuit bottoms, a dark baseball cap and light coloured trainers.

The First National bus was also closed off for forensic examinations to be carried out.

The police spokesman said: "It is believed that the three girls had taken the No 31 bus from Weymouth before getting off in Bridport town centre's East Street.

"We are appealing for witnesses and anyone with any information to come forward and contact the police as soon as possible."

Inspector Pete Meteau of Dorset Police told GMTV that a verbal exchange may have preceded the attack.

He said: "There were numerous people on the bus. Obviously we would like to appeal to anyone who was on the bus at the time to please come forward and contact the local police.

"So hopefully we will be able to identify witnesses. We have identified one so far, but we are hoping for a number of others to come forward.

He added that there was "absolutely no indication of this time" why the attack had taken place.

"We haven't been able to talk to the victims as yet. It seems, early indications, that there was some sort of verbal exchange prior to this dreadful attack. We don't know anything more than that."