TWO attackers who stabbed a man with a 'sword' during a failed mugging in Witney are still on the loose.

Police are continuing to appeal for witnesses following the terrifying assault in Ducklington Lane just after 1am last Monday, with no arrests made as of yesterday afternoon.

The victim, Witney resident Alex Train, spent three days in hospital after he was stabbed in the stomach while saving his friend, Asa Higgs, from being mugged.

Mr Train escaped serious injury and was described as a 'hero' by his grandad, Charles Train, who has lived in the town for almost 50 years.

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He said: "Witney was like a big village when I first came here in 1971.

"I've never seen anything like it in all my years here.

"We still can't believe it as Alex is such a nice character. He saved his friend and nothing was stolen - he's a hero."

The victim had spent the evening with Mr Higgs in The Hollybush pub on Corn Street, before the pair left the building shortly after midnight.

Mr Train first spotted the two attackers opposite the Stagecoach bus depot on Corn Street and feared he was being followed.

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At the nearby roundabout, Mr Train walked a different way home to his friend, but became worried for Mr Higgs’s safety after losing sight of the men.

The mechanical design engineer retraced his steps to find his friend cornered on Ducklington Lane.

Mr Train said: “They had him on the floor trying to mug him and telling him to give up his phone and wallet.

“At that point, I ran up shouting and one guy pulled a sword out from his trousers - it was bigger than a normal knife.

“I didn’t think he was going to use it, as carrying a knife that large would surely just be to scare people.

“I approached them and pulled Asa up off the floor, then one stabbed me in the side and they ran away.”

The former Henry Box School pupil revealed instinct took over in the moments that followed and cast aside the pain to get help.

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He added: “I knew I’d been stabbed. It was obvious pain, like a puncture.

“The first thing on my mind was to get to safety and call an ambulance.

“Neither of us had any battery on our phones so I put pressure on the wound and ran home. It was the only option.

“I was just doing a friendly action. I hope someone would do the same for me.”

Mr Train, who lives at home with his grandparents, phoned 999 when he arrived and Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service arrived within minutes.

The victim was fortunate that the blade missed his vital organs, although it did graze his colon.

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He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but he did not need surgery or even stitching, with bandages protecting the wound instead.

He said: “I was wearing a thick coat so that helped. It was complete luck and could have been so much worse.”

Mr Train, a musician who is lead singer and a guitarist in the band Quartermelon, left hospital last Wednesday evening and is currently signed off work at Witney-based GSM automotives for two weeks.

Thames Valley Police said the investigation is ongoing and is appealing for witnesses.

Both attackers have been described as Asian, in their mid-twenties and about 5ft 10ins to 6ft tall.

They were both wearing dark clothing, one with their hood up, with one carrying a knife.

Investigating officer detective constable Oliver Harrison, of Force CID based at Banbury police station, previously said he believed the attack was an ‘isolated incident’, but added the force was 'keeping an open mind' about the attack.

The force wants to hear from anyone with dash-cam footage from the area between 12.45am and 1.15am, while officers have been making house-to-house enquiries and reviewing CCTV footage.

If you have any information, call 101, quoting the reference number 43190113108, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.