Two shot in 'clash of robbers'

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TWO MEN were seriously ill in hospital last night after being shot in the head at close range during what police believe may have been a violent clash between armed robbers in London.

Police discovered the men, aged 25 and 30, unconscious in the front of a red Metro parked close to the scene of a burglary and an armed robbery in the Angel area of Islington, north London. A sawn-off shotgun was recovered in the car and another found in a bag near by.

Detectives had been called to a burglary at a branch of Marks and Spencer shortly before midnight on Easter Monday. Burglars had entered through the roof of the store and interfered with tills.

At the same time, an armed robbery had taken place just a few yards away at a late-night grocery store. Two men, one armed with a sawn-off shotgun, sprayed ammonia into the faces of staff and escaped with about pounds 8,500. Police arrested two men close to the scene, one carrying a knife and the other a hammer. A third man escaped but was seen to dump a bag which contained a double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun. Another bag containing the proceeds of the robbery was also discovered near by.

Officers searching the area then came across the two injured men in the car parked in an adjacent street with the weapon in the footwell. Police believe the men had been shot only shortly beforehand.