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Reports of acid attack in Canterbury city centre

A teenager has been taken into custody after reports of an 'acid attack' in Canterbury city centre.

Police have confirmed a noxious substance was sprayed during the assault but it is not yet known exactly what the liquid was.

Sources say it is understood the chemical was thrown at four people in two separate locations.

Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene

A 17-year-old boy from London has been arrested and remains in police custody while three people were taken to hospital.

No serious injuries have been reported and police believe all those involved have been accounted for. The ages of the victims have not been confirmed.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service and paramedics were also called to the scene near Rheims Way in Canterbury city centre at 4pm.

Police remain at the scene and are carrying out further inquiries.

It comes less than 24 hours after a man in his 20s was robbed in an attack in another part of the city.

Police are investigating after it was reported he was approached and had "a clear, noxious liquid" sprayed into his face.

Witnesses said police also appeared to be carrying out a search near the River Stour after a cordon was set up.

But that incident is believed to be unrelated following a report a man was seen walking in the river around an hour earlier. 

Officers attended but nobody was found, police said.

Two police cars, an unmarked police car, an ambulance and two ambulance cars were reported to be in Rheims Way near the St Peter's roundabout.

Rich Airey, from South East Coast Ambulance service (SECAmb), said: "A call came in just after 4pm to St Peter's Place.

"We responded to a report of assault and a number of vehicles are at the scene and it is ongoing."

Mr Airey said he could not provide further details as the matter was being dealt with by police but added it is likely there will be a police investigation.

Kent Highways said the road is closed in both directions between St Dunstans and Rheims Way because of "a police incident".

Buses are being diverted around the roadblock.

Witnesses said they believe officers are looking for someone.

Traffic jams are building up in the area.

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