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Children 'in murder bid on boy, 5'

Great Britain

LONDON, England -- Five children have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 5-year-old boy suffered neck injuries, police said.

Officers were called to an area of West Yorkshire, northern England, Tuesday evening after a member of the public found the victim with a number of bruises to his body and marks to his neck.

The boy was injured during an incident in woodland near a medical center in Dewsbury between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday, West Yorkshire police said.

"The victim is a 5-year-old child who has suffered some serious injuries which is why those whose were arrested last night and this morning were actually arrested for attempted murder," Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan told reporters.

"The injuries looked quite horrific in themselves."

Brennan would not rule out media speculation that the neck marks had been caused by the child being hanged with a rope.

"He has marks around his neck which could be consistent with ligature marks. There are marks around his neck which cause me concern," he said.

"It's too early to say whether these were caused by a rope around his neck."

Five children -- two 11-year-old girls, two 12-year-old boys and a 12-year-old girl -- were all arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and were being interviewed by detectives at Dewsbury police station.

None are related to the victim but all were said to be from the local area.

Brennan said he expected to make another two or three arrests soon but would not specify the ages of these suspects.

The victim was being interviewed by specialist officers after being treated overnight at Dewsbury District Hospital.

"Clearly it will be a painstaking account that will be taken from him covering all aspects in relation to how he ended being in the location he was found and what has taken place," Brennan said.

A police spokesman said the incident happened in a wooded area to the rear of the Earlsheaton Medical Center in Dewsbury.

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