A MAN has been flown to hospital after being stabbed and assaulted close to a row of shops.

Police have arrested two men after the incident in Hunwicke Road, Colchester.

Officers were called at 7.40am on Friday after reports the victim had been attacked.

A spokesman for Essex Police confirmed he had been flown to hospital for treatment and they had arrested two men shortly afterwards.

"A cordon has been put in place and we’re making our inquiries," he said.

"We believe this may have been a targeted attack."

Residents saw police officers and ambulance crews, including the air ambulance, in the area on Friday morning.

READ MORE: Air ambulance lands in Greenstead

Police had taped off the area in front of the shops in the Hunwicke Shopping Centre, and a part of nearby Forest Road.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "We responded to an emergency call shortly before 8am regarding an incident on Hunwicke Road, Colchester.

"We sent an ambulance, an ambulance officer vehicle and an air ambulance.

"The patient was transported to Addenbrookes Hospital by air ambulance for further treatment."

READ MORE: Police cordon off area near Greenstead shops