A HOMELESS man is fighting for his life after he was set on fire while he slept in a bus shelter.

The 41-year-old was asleep under a pile of paper which was deliberately ignited by a gang.

Detectives believe a group of men were driving along Bury Road, Radcliffe, early on Sunday when they spotted the man.

They pulled up alongside him in a car shortly after 2am before getting out of the vehicle and setting the paper alight.

The victim suffered severe burns to his face and chest during the horrific attack. The men then fled the scene.

A passer-by who heard the man's screams is believed to have raised the alarm and contacted the emergency services.

Paramedics treated the injured man, whose name has not been released, at the scene before he was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital.

He was today said to be in a critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit.

The glass sided bus shelter was cordoned off throughout yesterday as forensic and scenes of crime officers combed the area for clues.

A car was stopped by patrol officers in Radcliffe Road at 3am and two men, aged 18 and 20, were arrested in connection with the incident. They are being questioned by detectives.

Detectives also carried out house-to-house inquiries in an effort to build up a picture of what happened.

Det Insp Simon Collier of Whitefield CID said: "We are treating this case very seriously.

"This was an unprovoked attack on a man who has suffered serious burns and is still in a critical condition in hospital.

"We would appeal to anyone who was on Bury Road at around 2am on Sunday and may have seen anything to come forward."

Anyone who can help the police is asked to contact Bury CID on 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers on free phone 0800 555 111.