SHOTS were believed to have been fired from a car at another vehicle on tram tracks in Manchester city centre last night.

Police suspect shots were fired from a red Ford Mondeo at a silver Vauxhall Astra, which was travelling in convoy, on tracks on St Peter's Square.

Soon after, the Astra hit a lamppost in the square.

Police received a report of a suspected firearms discharge and a crash just before 8.30pm on the square.

Officers arrived and found the Astra abandoned on the tram tracks in the Square.

Four occupants from the Astra left the vehicle and the red Ford Mondeo left the scene.

Following a short foot chase, three males were arrested at the scene and enquiries are ongoing to locate others who may have been involved.

A 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and possession of a firearm. They remain in custody.

No-one is thought to have been injured.

A cordon was put in place last night until lunchtime today while officers carried out a search which saw detectives recover potential evidence of a firearms discharge and a quantity of suspected drugs.

Superintendent Chris Hill, from Greater Manchester Police's City of Manchester division, said: "We understand that members of the public and nearby residents are concerned by last night's incident but I'd like to reassure them that a thorough investigation is ongoing and three males remain in custody.

"I'd like to thank all those that have been patient whilst the cordon remained in place and allowed us to carry out enquiries.

"We regularly take strong and swift action to disrupt this criminal activity and we are doing all we can.

"There is a lot of work - which may not always be visible due to operational reasons - going on to tackle the use of firearms and disputes across Greater Manchester.

"There will be an increased police presence in the city and anyone concerned can speak to officers.

"We would like to thank Transport for Greater Manchester and members of the public who cooperated and assisted us with our investigation but we would continue to appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

"The information will be treated with the strictest confidence.

"Anyone with information can call 101, or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."