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Aberfan: Man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after manhunt as 'heavily pregnant' woman stabbed

A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a woman was stabbed in a south Wales town.

Several schools in Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil, were forced into lockdown on Tuesday as armed police responded to the “serious” assault.

Police were called to the scene on Moy Road just before 9.10am after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed.

People were told to stay inside as armed officers spent hours searching for a male suspect.

A statement from South Wales Police released around 4.30pm on Tuesday said: “Following a report that a 29-year-old woman had been stabbed on Moy Road, Aberfan, Merthyr earlier this morning, officers have arrested a 28-year-old man from Merthyr on suspicion of attempted murder.

“He is currently in police custody.”

Chief Inspector Rob Miles later read a statement outsidethe local police station in which he said the woman, who knew the victim, had been the victim of a "targeted attack".

He said "I appreciate that there will be a real sense of shock to the local community with the attack having happened in broad daylight.

"Local schools activated the lockdown protocols to keep people safe.Neighbourhood officers have been in the area to ensure pupils have been able to leave the school safely at the normal time.

"This was done as a precaution and schools will open tomorrow as normal. This was a targeted attack. The woman remains in hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life threatening at this time.

"I want to thank the local community and partners for their patience and support throughout today's police operation to trace and arrest the suspect."

Earlier on Tuesday, police said schools near where the search for the suspect was being carried out had "activated their lockdown protocols to keep pupils safe whilst the incident is ongoing".

The scene on Moy Road in the village of Aberfan, Merthyr, South Wales, after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed around 9.10am this morning (PA)
The scene on Moy Road in the village of Aberfan, Merthyr, South Wales, after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed around 9.10am this morning (PA)

A witness, who lives close to the scene, said the victim was "heavily pregnant".

Katie Roberts, 31, told Sky News: "I heard some screams this morning. I looked out my window and saw a man on top of a woman,” she said.

“I thought he was punching her at first - but then I realised he was stabbing her in the back.

“I ran out the house immediately after. I ran to her in the street and held towels against her wounds.”

Police have cordoned off the scene (PA)
Police have cordoned off the scene (PA)

Paramedics said critical care was provided to one person at the scene before they were rushed to a major hospital in Cardiff.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman added: "We sent one emergency ambulance, one air ambulance and one Cymru high acuity response unit to the scene where advanced critical care support was delivered by the emergency medical retrieval and transfer service.

"We conveyed one patient by road to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff for further treatment."

Police officers at the scene (PA)
Police officers at the scene (PA)

Greenfield School, a special needs school, earlier said all perimeter gates were locked and pupils were being kept indoors in a message to parents.

The Trinity Childcare and Family Centre also locked its doors, with all staff and children safe inside.

The Wellbeing community centre also said it was closed until further notice.

Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, posted on X, saying: "I have spoken to police regarding a serious incident in Aberfan this morning.

He added: "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."