A south Manchester shopkeeper has described the moment when a group of armed robbers came into his store and attacked him.

On Monday evening (March 23) at around 8.30pm, a group of young men wearing balaclavas entered the Kings Food Store on the corner of Cuthbert Avenue off Matthews Lane in Levenshulme.

Armed with knives, the men demanded the shopkeeper give them the money from the till but ultimately left with around £800 worth of cigarettes.

“Initially, I thought it was just one guy there because I was sitting down at the time,” shopkeeper Skandar told the Manchester Evening News.

“They told me to get away from the counter and that’s when I realised there were a few of them and I was outnumbered.

“They tried to lift the hatch up to get through to the counter, and then I saw two of them had knives.

“One of them aimed for my chest but fortunately he was only able to rip my t-shirt. They then climbed over the counter and made their way to the cigarette gantry.”

His friend, who was in the shop with Skandar before the incident, was held away from him by the gang.

Skandar says it was at this point that the men then attacked him.

“Then the lad sliced my hand from the side and I was bleeding a lot,” he said.

“Another guy was punching me at the same time. Despite the injuries, I was still trying to stop them.”

Skandar says the shop has been in his family for 35 years and there has never been an incident like this before.

“They tried their best to get the money but I didn’t let them take it,” he adds.

“They still took £800 worth of cigarettes from the gantry and then ran off.”

Skandar says the police attended the scene almost immediately and he was taken to hospital where his hand was stitched up.

He has since reopened the shop, and says it’s part of his defiant nature.

“I want to show that I’m not scared. I don’t want them to win.”

Greater Manchester Police confirmed details of the incident, and said an investigation was underway.

“At around 9.05pm on Monday 23 March 2020, police were called to reports of an armed robbery at a business premises on Matthews Lane, Manchester,” the GMP spokesperson said.

“Officers attended and established that a group of men had entered the shop and threatened a member of staff before stealing cigarettes and cash.

“The victim sustained minor injuries.

“An investigation is underway and no arrests have been made.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting 2570 of 23/02/20.

Information can also be passed to the independent charity – Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.