Hythe sex attacks on women near Royal Military Canal

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People have been warned to avoid unlit areas and walking alone at night after two women were sexually assaulted in separate attacks near a canal in Kent.

A woman in her 20s was forced into bushes and assaulted in Green Lane next to the Royal Military Canal in Hythe at 01:30 BST on Saturday.

It followed a sex assault on another woman in her 20s between Cannongate Road and Hospital Hill on 22 June.

Police said they were keeping an open mind about whether they were linked.

'Aware of similarities'

"My officers and I are carrying out a number of lines of inquiry," said Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham.

"We are aware of the similarities in the two offences and their locations.

"At this stage we are not formally linking them and are keeping an open mind."

He said there would be an increased police presence in Hythe over the weekend but urged members of the public to think about their personal safety when out and about.

He appealed to anyone with information about the two attacks to come forward.

Two men have been arrested. A 42-year-old man has been bailed until 5 September and a 30-year-old man until 30 September.

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