WITNESSES have described the moments a gang of armed robbers fled from an Abingdon bank with thousands of pounds today.

Three masked men brandishing guns raided The Abbey in Bury Street - known as the precinct - at about 7am today.

They fled on foot along Stratton Way leaving a security guard needing treatment from paramedics at the scene.

David Stafford, manager of Somerfield supermarket, next to the Abbey Bank in the precinct, said: "My cleaner was at the front of the store and she called me over when she saw two guys crouching in our doorway with balaclavas. They looked like they were hiding.

"When I came back with my keys to open the door I saw two guys running away with two cash boxes towards the library.

"The security guard was very shaken and I called the police straight away.

"I'm not surprised it's happened really, but it has made me think about being more cautious with my staff in the mornings."

Police spokesman Kate Smith said no shots were fired and no one was seriously injured.

Forensics officers cordoned off an area of the precinct outside the bank and sealed a door at Somerfield supermarket.

The amount of cash stolen is not known. One report said it might be up to £40,000.

D et Sgt Dave Muddiman said: "The men had what appeared to be black hand guns, but no shots were fired.

"If you saw anything suspicious in the area early this morning then please contact me immediately.

"If you saw these men as they made off or saw a suspicious vehicle then your account could be extremely important. Perhaps you saw them before the robbery took place. Any information you have could be vital."

Anyone with information should contact police on 08458 505505 or speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.