Police have arrested two teenage boys on suspicion of a savage assault in St Helens town centre which left a man in his 20s with serious injuries.
The two, who are aged 15 and 16, were taken into custody yesterday and have today (Wednesday) been bailed pending further enquiries.
A police spokesman said the pair are from the Wavertree and Kensington areas of Liverpool.
They were arrested following after the victim, a man in his 20s, was found suffering serious facial injuries close to Asda on Kirkland Street.
His injuries included a fractured eye socket and a fractured nose, as well as cuts and bruises, suggesting a sustained attack.
He remains in hospital for further assessment on the injury to his eye.
Over the weekend, police issued CCTV images of a number of people they want to speak to as part of the investigation.
Det Con Ian Rogers, from St Helens CID, said: “This was a brutal and unprovoked attack against a man making his way home after spending the evening with friends.
“The victim is understandably distressed to have been set upon by a group and he may have suffered permanent injuries as a result.
“I would urge those people in the photos to contact police immediately, as we will be looking to identify and speak with each and every one to assist with our enquiries.
“I would like to reassure the local community that incidents like this are rare, which is why we are determined to find those responsible as soon as possible and bring them to justice.
“Any information you may have about a group of youths in the Kirkland Street area on Saturday night may be crucial to our investigation.”
Anyone who witnessed the assault or a group near to Asda on Kirkland Street at around 4am is urged to call St Helens CID on (0151) 7776881, the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.