A manhunt is underway for the attackers of a man who suffered "a number serious wounds" during a lunchtime attack on Edinburgh's "very busy" city centre. The victim was believed to have been Sean McGovern, 32, a well-known underworld figure currently serving 17 years for heroin dealing and a shotgun attack.

McGovern, known as "Lugs", was on day release from Castle Huntly open prison, near Dundee, when two men pounced on him, slashing him around the head and neck, leaving his grey prison jogging suit covered in blood, according to the Daily Record newspaper.

"The victim suffered a number of serious wounds", Police Scotland said in a statement, adding that he had been taken to hospital for treatment. It is unknown whether his injuries will lead to permanent scarring.

Two men were pictured fleeing the scene: both wore baseball caps and running shoes. The first wore a bright green T-shirt. The second man in a blue T-shirt was holding the blade which is thought was used to carry out the attack. The photos were published by a British tabloid newspaper.

Police Scotland told IB Times UK that the men left the scene in a white car, but as of early 30 July no arrests had been made in relation to the attack.

Reports in Scotland have linked the attack to Mark Richardson, a cocaine dealer who was jailed for 10 years in 2010, after he was caught cutting large quantities of the drug, preparing it for sale. He was released in the summer of 2014.

He was also jailed for 32 months in 2007 for running a cocaine dealing operation from the Edinburgh home he shared with his father, Mark Richardson Snr. The older Richardson received 4.5 years.