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30 June 2014, 16:11
Hampshire detectives are linking two similar unprovoked attacks on women who were left with chest injuries.
Both victims were injured by a bladed object in attacks which took place nine days apart in Portsmouth.
Hampshire Police's major investigation team are now trying to identify the suspect and pinpoint a motive for the offences.
The first attack took place at around 10.40pm on June 20 when a 20-year-old woman was walking alone along Southampton Road.
A man approached her from behind and assaulted her, leaving her with an injury described as serious but not life threatening.
Police said the second attack involved a 45-year-old victim at around 11.20am yesterday in the Hilsea area.
She was walking her dog on a wooded footpath along the shoreline of Ports Creek when a man approached in front of her.
He then attacked her, inflicting a stab wound to her chest. She was admitted to hospital but her injury is not life threatening.
Superintendent Alison Heydari said: ``Detectives are linking these crimes based on the information we have available at the moment, namely the fact that these assaults were both totally unprovoked, and committed by someone not known to the victims.
``We're keeping an open mind about the possible motives for these assaults.
``Both women were also injured in the chest by what we believe was some sort of bladed object, possibly a knife, although the precise item used is not confirmed at the moment.''
Ms Heydari tried to reassure the public, saying similar attacks were rare in Portsmouth.
She said: ``Our advice to women in Portsmouth is to be alert but not alarmed.
``Continue your daily lives and business as you would normally, and report any suspicious behaviour you notice, particularly any sightings of a man matching the description in this appeal.''
The attacker is believed to be a white man, aged in his late teens to early 20s.
In the first attack, he wore a dark woollen beanie hat, a dark jumper and dark tracksuit bottoms.
In the second, he wore a blue hooded top with yellow writing and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting Operation Bedham.