Armed police have taken action in the Welsh village of Aberfan following what police initially described a “serious assault.”
A 29-year-old pregnant mother was hospitalised after being stabbed in Moy Road, Aberfan, her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The attacker then fled.
The assault lead to lockdowns in schools and community centers. The area is still heavily occupied by emergency services, and authorities advise the public to steer clear of the vicinity.
Police officers carrying weapons were observed at a property on Wyndham Street within the village of Troedyrhiw, situated approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the site of the stabbing on Moy Road.
At 4:30 p.m., police announced the arrest of a 28-year-old Merthyr Tydfil man on suspicion of attempted murder.
A South Wales Police spokesperson said: “The suspect left the scene immediately and armed officers have been carrying out inquiries throughout the day to trace him.
“This afternoon a 28-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
“The man is known to the victim and is currently in police custody.
“Local schools activated their lockdown protocols to keep pupils safe.
“Neighbourhood officers have been in the area to ensure sure pupils have been able to leave the school safely at the normal time.
“This was done as a precaution and schools will reopen 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.”
According to South Wales Police, officers reacted to the incident on Moy Road in Aberfan shortly before 9:10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a spokesperson said: “Emergency services are responding to [a] serious assault that took place on Moy Road, Aberfan, Merthyr just before 9.10am this morning. Armed officers are in the area, and we request that people avoid the area so that we can effectively deal with this incident.”
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called today (05 Dec), at approximately 9:10am, to reports of an incident in Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil. 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.”
Local MP, Gerald Jones, said: “I have spoken to police regarding a serious incident in Aberfan this morning. 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.”
Local MS Dawn Bowden said: “I am aware of a serious incident in Aberfan this morning. I have spoken to the police and will await further information from them. However, please take advice given by the police who will be grateful for your co-operation while this incident is dealt with.”
Afon Taf school said via social media that “no-one was permitted to enter or leave the site” due to the police incident.
Greenfield School said in a statement: “We just wanted to reassure you that as a precaution we are keeping the pupils safe inside the building and all perimeter gates are locked.”
In a Facebook post posted just after 10 a.m. this morning, Trinity Childcare and Family Centre Ltd Aberfan stated that it was “currently under lockdown as a precautionary measure due to an incident within the community.” The post further assured that all staff and children are safe.
None of the schools or community centres still remain in lockdown measures.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Events continue to unfold and I think for the moment our thoughts are with people caught up in them”.
Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies said: “I’m sure everyone’s thoughts are with that community and those involved in trying to restore the situation.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, voiced his apprehension for the community while expressing gratitude to all those involved in the emergency response efforts.