GANGS of men brandishing hammers, sticks and a machete brawled in a residential street in Accrington.

Around 20 men clashed in a large scale disturbance, which police believe was a pre-planned fight.

A 35-year-old man received head injuries after being clubbed around the back of the head with a weapon, and needed reconstructive surgery for a broken jaw.

CCTV images show the men, aged in their 20s and 30s, squaring up to one another in the middle of the street, bringing traffic to a standstill.

Witnesses reported weapons being seen, including hammers, sticks and a machete, although none of the weapons have yet been recovered by police.

The incident happened at around 10pm on Saturday, October 6, in Blackburn Road, near to Swiss Street.

Detective Inspector Jill Johnston, from Accrington CID, said: “This was an incident of large scale disorder that involved between 15 and 20 Asian men fighting in the middle of the street, to the extent that they brought traffic to a standstill for a number of minutes.

“The motive for the fight is not known at this time but we do believe that all the men involved were known to each other.

“For local residents and motorists this would have been very frightening incident to witness.

“We want to reassure local residents that it appeared to be pre-planned fight so we stepped up patrols over the weekend and will do the same this weekend.

“We have asked key community leaders to speak to the families involved to put a stop to any further incidents.”

Three men, one aged 22, and two aged 23, from Accrington, were arrested on Tuesday and released on police bail until October 23 pending further investigations.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lancashire Police on 101.