A manhunt has been launched in South Wales after a 29-year-old woman was stabbed in Aberfan.
Armed officers are at the scene, police have said, while residents have been urged to avoid the area.
Police say local schools and childcare facilities have been placed into lockdown while the search continues.
“The suspect left the scene immediately after the incident and enquiries are ongoing to find him. A search of the immediate area is being carried out by armed officers,” police said.
The woman, who one witness told Sky News appeared to be heavily pregnant, has been taken to hospital. Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Katie Roberts, who lives near the scene, told Sky News: “I heard some screams this morning. I looked out my window and saw a man on top of a woman.
“I thought he was punching her at first – but then I realised he was stabbing her in the back.
“I ran out of the house immediately after. I ran to her in the street and held towels against her wounds.”
The veterinary nurse, 31, said another witness called for an ambulance for the woman.
“It is really shocking that this has [happened],” she added.
“My husband has lived here all his life, and he said it just doesn’t happen here.”
Another resident, Susan Prothero, who has lived in Aberfan for 30 years, said: “(It’s) a very quiet area. I have lived here 30 years and nothing like this has happened here.”
The incident took place on Moy Road just before 9.10am this morning. Schools and childcare facilities were put into lockdown following the incident.
Trinity Childcare and Family Centre said in a post on social media: “We are currently in lockdown as a precaution due to an incident within the community. All staff and children are safe.”
Rhiannon Stephens Davies, head teacher of Greenfield School, said in a statement on Facebook: “We are aware of an ongoing police incident in Aberfan.
“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.”
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called today 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.
“We conveyed one patient by road to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff for further treatment.”
Gerald Jones, Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, described Aberfan as a “very close knit, tight community”.
“The community centre and the schools are very close by, hence the reason why police are keen for people not to go to the area,” he told Sky News.
“The community centre has closed its doors for the moment, and the schools have locked down as well because they are in very close proximity to Moy Road.
“The community, as I said, is a very tight-knit community so there is, undoubtedly, serious concern within the community.”
He added that he had been assured by police that they were dealing with the incident “as quickly and effectively as they can”.
Welsh Senedd member, Dawn Bowden, said in a post on social media: “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.”