Loyalist paramilitaries are being linked to a violent and vicious attack on three men in Londonderry.
A number of men were seen on Bonds Street in the Waterside area of the city armed with what were described as a sledgehammer and hammers.
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service paramedics responded shortly after 1.40am yesterday morning and discovered three men, two in their 30s and one in his 40s, with injuries sustained as a result of what appeared to have been a violent attack.
All three men were taken to hospital by ambulance crews where they were treated for their injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening.
Detectives have appealed for witnesses to the serious assault.
"We believe the three men were the victims of an unprovoked and cowardly attack by four assailants armed with weapon," a detective said.
Police are exploring a potential link to loyalist paramilitaries as part of their enquires.
"We are working to establish how the men sustained their injuries, who was responsible, what the circumstances were leading up to the incident and we are making a number of appeals," he added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Strand Road on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 154 of 13/05/18. Information on the incident can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.