A 12-YEAR-OLD boy was grabbed by the neck while walking through a park in a terrifying attempted abduction in Blackburn.

Detectives have now issued a picture of a man they want to talk to over the incident in Corporation Park, Blackburn.

Officers were called at around 8.30am on Friday following reports a 12-year-old boy had been walking through the park when he was approached from behind by a man.

He was then grabbed by the neck and the man attempted to take him away.

The boy managed to get free and run away, alerting a passer-by. The man was challenged by a member of the public and ran off out of the park towards Preston New Road. Following enquiries, police now want to speak to Zakaria Elharak, 27.

Elharak, who also goes by the name Zackaria El-Haouari, has links to Blackburn and Toxteth in Liverpool. He is 5ft 4in to 5ft 6in tall, of medium build, and has a circular scar on the right side of his face and black hair.

Police confirmed no arrest had been made this morning

Detective Inspector Martin Melvin, said: “This was clearly a distressing incident for the young boy.

“Thankfully incidents of this nature are relatively rare, however we are treating it extremely seriously and have a number of resources dedicated to the investigation.

“We want to speak to Zakaria Elharak as part of our enquiries. If you have seen him or know where he may be, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. I would also urge Zakaria, if he sees this, to come and speak to us.”

Cllr Hussain Akhtar, who lives across from the park, said: “Everybody is shocked and very upset by what has happened. The parents of the boy came to see me on Friday and as you would expect they are very upset and sad. They are a good family who are well-respected in the community and people just want whoever has done this to be identified and arrested.

“This is a very friendly community and people are every trusting. But I would encourage parents to ensure they don’t let their children go out unaccompanied, especially the young ones.”

Call police on 101 quoting log number 271 of 6 September.