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Major incident in Birmingham following 'multiple stabbings'
6 September 2020, 06:48 | Updated: 6 September 2020, 10:16
Police have declared a major incident in Birmingham city centre following reports of multiple stabbings.
West Midlands Police say they were called to reports of a stabbing in the city centre at 12:30am.
In a statement, the force said: "We immediately attended, along with colleagues from the ambulance service."A number of other stabbings were reported in the area shortly after.
"We are aware of a number of injured people, but at the moment we are not in a position to say how many or how serious.
"However, all emergency services are working together at the scene, and making sure that those who are injured receive medical care.
"This has been declared a major incident.
"Work is still going on to establish what has happened, and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.
"At this early stage it would not be appropriate to speculate on the causes of the incident."
West Midlands Police said there had not been any reports of gunshots during the incident.
The force said: "We're aware of some comments that gunshots were fired, this has not been reported to us at this stage."
The majority of Hurst Street, which runs past the Arcadian, has been taped off by police on Sunday morning, in an area which had already been closed off to traffic to aid social distancing.
Several yellow police evidence markers could be seen on the ground, some near to broken glass.
Two forensic tents had also been sited in nearby Irving Street, close to the gates of a primary school.
#UPDATE | We can confirm that at approximately 12:30am today we were called to reports of a stabbing in #Birmingham city centre.— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) September 6, 2020
We immediately attended, along with colleagues from the ambulance service. A number of other stabbings were reported in the area shortly after.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has said the incidents "look to be related", but the motivation for them "is not yet understood".
Writing on Twitter he said his thoughts are with those affected by the incident and asked people not to speculate about it.
"The city remains open for business as usual this morning but clearly people are asked to avoid the immediate area surrounding Hurst Street while police carry out their investigation," Mr Street tweeted.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said those in the vicinity of the major incident in Birmingham should be "very vigilant".
Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, Mr Raab said: "My thoughts are with the victims and their families, there is obviously an ongoing police investigation.
"I can't say too much more at this stage but people should be very vigilant if they are in that area."
Witnesses to the incident have said it appeared to be one group of boys fighting against another group of boys.
Eyewitnesses also said they heard racial slurs during the incident, adding it was a "multicultural night" in the clubs near the Arcadia complex.
Witnesses said that drinks were being dropped, rings were falling off, jewellery was going everywhere and clothes were being torn, with one man having his hair ripped out.
An eyewitness told LBC: "I was waiting for my bus and then a guy walked into the stop with three policemen following him.
"Then suddenly out of nowhere all these cars came in and policemen came over with guns, and I just ran."
Police said the response would be ongoing "for some time" and urged people to stay away from the scene.