Two gangs of warring criminals are behind a string of violent gun, knife and grenade attacks in Greater Manchester, police have revealed.
Armed officers have now been drafted in to carry out extra patrols in the Salford area after a surge in violence was recorded over the past few weeks.
It comes after detectives linked a shooting in Wigan yesterday to a hand grenade attack in Salford earlier in the day, plus two other serious incidents in the borough since February.
Officers are now urging people to speak out, to prevent innocent bystanders from getting hurt.
The incidents being linked are:
A 50-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of murder after gunshots were fired at a car wash in Bolton Road, Ashton in Makerfield, shortly before 5.20pm yesterday. He today remains in police custody being questioned over the incident, while a man is still fighting for life in hospital after suffering bullet wounds.
At around 12.50am yesterday, a hand grenade was thrown at a house in Formby Road, damaging the front of the property but not causing any injuries. A BMW X5, believed to have been used in the attack, was found burnt out in Quarry Road, Salford, a short while later.
A police patrol travelling along Agecroft Road at around 7.15pm on March 21 spotted a man suffering knife wounds. He had been attacked with a machete, causing slash and stab injuries to his neck, torso and back. He was treated in hospital and has now been discharged. A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and bailed until May while investigations continue.
Two men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder after shots were fired in Fairfield Road, Irlam o'th Heights, shortly after midnight on February 17. A 23-year-old man was found with a minor shotgun pellet injury to his waist. The pair were bailed until April while investigations are carried out.
Ch Supt Mary Doyle urged communities in Salford to report anything they believe may help in tracking down the gang members responsible.
She asked witnesses or anyone with information to call the force's major incident team on 0161 856 9283, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.