A NEWPORT mother whose house was sealed off by armed police claims she was told they were looking for a gun.

But last night police said they had, in fact, been searching for a knife rather than a firearm.

Maria Fletcher, who lives at the three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Hendre Farm Drive, Ringland, with her son Josh Henshaw, 18, said he had allegedly been stabbed in the leg following an incident at Aberthaw Road at around 11am yesterday.

He sustained a wound to his leg. Ms Fletcher was at the city's Royal Gwent Hospital with him when she discovered armed police had swooped on her house at 2pm.

She said: "I was at the hospital with Josh when I got a call from my daughter saying their were police with guns around the house."

And she claimed: "The police said they were looking for a firearm.

"I can't believe anyone has said there is a gun here. I would never allow anything like that in my house."

A green Volkswagen Polo belonging to Mr Henshaw was searched and taken away on a tow-truck for inspection by officers. The search of the house carried on until around 8pm last night.

Neighbours described how police told them to leave their homes so they could gain access to the house's garden.

Claire Poole, who lives directly behind Ms Fletcher's house, said: "I was in the garden and the police just turned up with guns and told us to leave the house.

"They went into our garden and jumped over to the house.

"We didn't know what was going on."

Other stunned neighbours gathered outside in their gardens to watch what was happening. Their street of around 90 houses was cordoned off and no vehicles were allowed in or our of it.

Mother Rebecca Clarke desperately tried to contact her daughter Chelsea as the drama unfolded.

She said: "I'm very worried. I haven't been able to get hold of her or the school to find out what is going on."

Pupis at nearby Hartridge Comprehensive were gathered in the hall and told not to leave the premises when the drama began.

At 3.15pm they were allowed out of the school through the lower school building in small groups as a bridge linking the school playground to Ringland had been closed off.

Police say they went to the Alway area after allegations that a man had received a knife wound to the leg.

A spokesman said: "As a result of information received, armed police officers supported local officers in the search of an address. No weapons were recovered."

He said two men have been arrested with the alleged stabbing and were being held in police custody last night. The alleged victim was treated at the Royal Gwent Hospital and later released.