Detectives investigating an attack on two police officers who stepped in to stop a street brawl have released CCTV images of three men they wish to speak to.

The pair were on their way to another incident at around 2.35am this morning when they saw a large group of men fighting near the Assheton Arm Hotel in Middleton, Greater Manchester.

As they stepped in to stop the violence, the female officer was dragged to the floor and stamped on as her male colleague was punched unconscious.

It has since been discovered that a number of men involved in the disorder had been kicked out of a nightclub named Infinity a few minutes earlier.

The thugs behind the attack fled the scene shortly afterwards, prompting a manhunt by police.

Both officers were taken to hospital but have since been discharged and are recovering at home.

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Detective Inspector for Greater Manchester Police’s Rochdale district Karl Ward said: ‘We have been continuing our enquiries throughout the day and we are now releasing CCTV images of three men we wish to speak to in connection with this shocking incident.

‘If you think that you might recognise the men pictured in the images then I would encourage you to please contact us as a matter of urgency.

‘We are also keen to speak with anyone who has any additional information that they believe can assist us with our investigation.’