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Last Updated: Monday, 5 June 2006, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Officers speak to shot teenagers
The scene of the shooting at Billing Avenue
The teenagers were among a group of youths on bikes
Police have now spoken to two children who were shot in the street by a masked gunman in an attempt to find out why they were deliberately targeted.

The attacker was among a number of men in a car that pulled up beside the boys in the Ardwick area of Manchester.

The 15-year-old, who was shot five times, and his 13-year-old friend are now under armed guard in hospital. Both are in a stable condition.

They have told police they do not know why they were attacked.

The victims were among a group of teenagers on their bikes on Billing Avenue late on Saturday night.

A silver car containing four or five men pulled up alongside the youths as they were out on the street on Saturday night.

The scene of the shooting at Billing Avenue
I think it's sad and particularly against the context and backdrop of work the community have done
Supt John O'Hare

One of the men got out of the car and fired shots towards the group. He is described as being about 6ft (1.8m) tall, muscular and was wearing dark clothing and a balaclava.

The 15-year-old boy, from the Ardwick area, suffered wounds to his chest, back, groin, buttock and thigh. His friend was shot in the leg.

Speaking on Monday, Supt John O'Hare of Greater Manchester Police said the boys were "recovering well" from their injuries.

But he said the two teenagers had told police they do not know why they were attacked.

"What we believe is the way that this event took place, the way that the individual with the gun targeted specifically one of the individuals, we believe they were after that individual," said Mr O'Hare.

"Now, what I must stress is, the investigation now is to see whether or not it was that person they were after, or if this is a potential case of mistaken identity."

Since speaking with the boys, officers now have a couple of potential leads in their investigation, Mr O'Hare said.

The officer said he has been really saddened by the incident.

"What really concerns me is that it flies in the face of a lot of work that not just the police have been doing but the community themselves."

"I think it's sad and particularly against the context and backdrop of work the community have done."

Greater Manchester Police have increased patrols in the area and are urging witnesses to come forward.


BBC NEWS:VIDEO AND AUDIO
Police briefing on the shooting



SEE ALSO:
Gunman hunted after two boys shot
04 Jun 06 |  Manchester


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