A MAN who suffered serious head injuries when he was attacked on a busy Hampshire road was targeted by his attackers, police said tonight.

The Daily Echo earlier reported how the 28-year-old was found lying on the pavement along Southampton Road in Eastleigh- just a short distance from the town’s train station.

Paramedics were called to the scene shortly after 2pm yesterday and the victim was taken to hospital.

Officers have tonight revealed that he was assaulted by a group of up to four men- and the Constabulary’s Operation Fortress team, which deals with drug related violence, are investigating.

They said it is believed all four offenders are black and made off from the scene in a Ford Fiesta car.

Detective Sergeant Jan Bulfield, from the Operation Fortress team, said: “This incident, which understandably has had a significant impact on the local community, happened on a very busy road in Eastleigh in the middle of the day when many people would have been around.

“Did you see anything unusual? Did you see a group of men running towards a car?

“We’re treating this as a targeted assault and are investigating it as part of our campaign to reduce drug-related violence in Southampton and the surrounding areas.

“If you know anything about this incident, please contact me as soon as possible.”

Anyone living in fear because of debt or drugs, can speak to the Operation Fortress team in confidence.

Email operation.fortress@hampshire.pnn.police.uk or call 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

People worried about their own drug use, The Bridge open access drug centre can be contacted on 02380 881400.

The Parent Support Link on 02380 39 9764 offers support and advice to people affected by someone else's drug use.