MEN armed with a knife, rounders' bat and a metal pole carried out a violent attack leaving two victims seriously injured.

At about 7.30am on Sunday police were called to reports that two men had been assaulted and seriously injured at Mere Gardens.

Officers attended and enquiries established that four men had entered a flat and "viciously" attacked a 44-year-old man.

The offenders fled before they came across a 34-year-old man in the communal garden outside the flats.

The assaulted him and stole his mobile phone and other belongings.

Both men remain in hospital.

Two men, aged 25 and 31, and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested on suspicion of a section 18 assault and robbery. They remain in custody for questioning.

Detective inspector Ian Partington, of GMP’s Bolton borough, said: “The violent nature of this incident means it can only be described as a vicious attack, which left two men seriously injured. Both of them remain in hospital for treatment and could remain there for some time.

“There are a number of lines of enquiry that we are following, however we believe that the man in the flat was the intended target of this attack and the assault and robbery on the man in the communal area was completely unprovoked.

“Given the time of day that this incident happened, it is possible that there may have been a number of witnesses who could help progress our investigation. With that in mind, we are actively appealing for anybody who witnessed what happened or may have information to please come forward.”

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 5300 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.