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Girl, 6, ‘sexually assaulted after being abducted and taken to wooded area’

A man has been arrested on suspicion of abduction and sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.

The man aged 23 remains in custody for questioning, he is the second man to be arrested after a 35-year-old was arrested and released with no further investigation.

Greater Manchester police said the girl was thought to have been taken by a man on Warne Avenue and led into woods in Droylsden, near to a disused railway track towards Manchester Road, at about 4pm on Wednesday.

Detectives say the child was allegedly sexually assaulted in a van before she was returned to the woods, where she found her own way to a nearby park.

She was reunited with her family shortly afterwards, and was being supported by specialist officers.

Speaking at a special press conference on Thursday, Det Supt Richard Hunt said: “What I would say to members of the public, is that they need to be extra vigilant”. He praised the child’s “immense bravery” in helping with their investigation.

Hunt said the offender appeared to “have been hanging around the area prior to the offence and, afterwards, he made his way through the paths and streets of the Snipe estate, possibly in the direction of Openshaw”.

Police said: “We thank the public for their help so far and we are continuing to appeal for information. Officers have asked that anyone with information contact them on 0161 856 9262 or on LiveChat, quoting incident 2270 of 17/08.

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