TWO Greater Manchester Police officers shot dead this morning may have been ambushed, police say.

Two unarmed female police officers, Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, were killed in a gun and grenade attack in Tameside this morning.

Dale Cregan, a wanted man who has for the last two months been the focus of GMP's biggest ever manhunt, handed himself in to police shortly after the incident by walking in to Hyde police station.

Ch Con Peter Fahy said police believe either Cregan or someone known to him called police to report a burglary at the house where Cregan lay in wait.

It is then thought that he came out of the house, in Abbey Gardens, Hattersley, and attacked the two unarmed officers.

It has been reported that 13 shots were fired and a grenade was thrown.

Mr Fahy paid tribute to PC Bone, aged 32, and PC Hughes, aged 23, at a press conference this afternoon.

PC Bone, who was in the process of organising her wedding, was said to have been quiet and reserved, but with a great sense of humour, and other officers loved working with her because she was calm, collected and professional.

PC Hughes was described as bubbly and a chatterbox who enjoyed karate. She was said to be always smiling, even after a long night shift when everyone else was grumpy.

Cregan, aged 29, was being sought in connection with separate gun and grenade attacks that killed a father and son.

He has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the murders of David Short and Mark Short.

He has also been arrested on suspicion of the murder of PCs Hughes and Bone.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "This is a heartbreaking time for the officers' families and colleagues and our thoughts are with them.

"This is a tragic day for the whole force and we are currently piecing together exactly what happened this morning.

"I understand that the community will be fearful as they hear news of what has happened this morning.

"We have armed officers patrolling the area and we will aim to keep people updated as much as we can."

He added: "A long and dark shadow has been cast across Greater Manchester and my thoughts are with the officers' family, friends and colleagues.

"We will be doing everything we can to support them over the coming days and weeks."