A WOMAN was attacked from behind, struck in the head and robbed of her handbag.

The 42-year-old was walking along Thompson Street towards Padiham town centre at 6.30pm on Thursday when she passed two people loitering near to the entrance of Mini Sport.

She avoided eye contact with them but as she approached the footbridge that leads over the river to Canning Street she was attacked from behind, police said.

She received a forceful blow to the back of her head which knocked her down onto her knees.

The victim then felt her attackers tugging at her bag which was strapped over her head across her body.

They managed to pull it free and then ran off.

DC Steven Acres said: “This is a serious offence which has left the victim very frightened. She suffered a grazed cheek and shoulder from where she hit the floor, a bump to her head from being struck and a strap mark across her chest from the force used to remove her bag.

“An investigation is underway and I would appeal to anybody that witnessed this incident or with any idea about the persons responsible to contact police.”

The stolen handbag is described as black suede, around the size of a DVD case with tassels all along the bottom of the bag. It contained cash and cigarettes.

Contact police with any information on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.