Schools have been placed in lockdown as armed police hunt for a knifeman who attacked a woman in a rural Welsh town.
The 29-year-old woman was knifed in Aberfan, South Wales, following reports of the stabbing near a school, police said.
Up to six schools have been placed into lockdown in a three-mile wide radius as South Wales Police urged people to avoid the area after the stabbing at 9.10am.
Greenfield Special School, Trinity Child & Family Centre, Ysgol Rhyd Y Grug, Ynysowen Nursery School, Afon Taf High School and Abercanaid Community School all confirmed they had locked down on police advice.
One resident living near the scene said she heard a woman had been taken to hospital and “nothing like this” had happened in the area before.
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“It’s a very quiet area. I have lived here 30 years and nothing like this has happened here,” Susan Prothero said.
A South Wales Police spokesperson told The Independent: “Emergency services are responding to a serious assault that took place on Moy Road, Aberfan, Merthyr just before 9.10am this morning.
“Armed officers are in the area, and we request that people avoid the area so that we can effectively deal with this incident.”
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said: “I have spoken to police regarding a serious incident in Aberfan this morning.
“You may see an increased police presence in the area and I’d encourage everyone to co-operate with police officers as they deal with the incident.”
The Welsh village is known for being the site of the Aberfan disaster, when a coal tip on the hillside descended onto several houses and a school in 1966, killing 144 people, 116 of whom were children.