A postmaster hid in fear of his life as armed robbers tried to smash their way through his security screen.

He cowered in terror for several minutes as the two masked raiders bludgeoned the reinforced glass screen of the counter with axes in a bid to steal cash.

But they fled empty-handed as the postmaster had activated the alarm.

Detectives are looking to see if there are any links to an armed raid at another store in the same row of shops.

The latest robbery happened at 3pm on Thursday at Chellow Grange Post Office, Haworth Road, Bradford, as the postmaster was working alone.

Witnesses described seeing a car pulling up at speed on the wrong side of a pedestrian island outside the post office and two masked men getting out.

The postmaster, a married man in his 40s, saw the men emerging and immediately activated the alarm.

The robbers ran inside and demanded money. After only succeeding in making a small hole in the centre of the counter window, they fled to the car, which had a getaway driver, and it made off at speed.

The shop was closed yesterday. The postmaster told worried customers he had been frightened for his life. He said he had hid on his own for four minutes before the men finally fled.

He told them: “I hope they are caught so they do not put anyone else through the trauma I have suffered. I was terrified. I am just glad my wife wasn’t here at the time.”

The shop has alarms, CCTV, time delay equipment, steel shutter cameras and smoke and dye machines.

Meanwhile, the store manager of a shop close by told how he had been attacked by two men armed with hatchets less than a week earlier.

The manager was about to unlock the shop, at 5.30am on Friday, March 28, when he was grabbed from behind.

“They pressed me against the door and told me to open up,” he said. “There was a shutter and a padlock and I tried to delay opening them while the alarm was counting down. I fumbled with the padlock, dropped my keys and only opened the shutters halfway. When they shoved me I made sure I fell over.

“As we got in, the alarm went off and they fled, saying: ‘Don’t report it or we’ll come back and kill you.’ ”

Detective Inspector Neil Benstead said: “Both robberies are being robustly investigated. All lines of investigation are being pursued.

“This was a frightening attack for the member of staff involved and I am asking for anyone with any information on the vehicle or the suspects to contact Bradford District CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

The men fled from the scene towards Sandy Lane in a white vehicle, believed to be a Nissan or Subaru, with black alloy wheels. A fourth person was possibly in the vehicle.

The two suspects, who wore face coverings and gloves, were believed to be white. Both were of medium build and spoke with local accents. One was about 5ft 8ins and wore grey trousers and a light blue hooded top. The other was slightly taller and wearing dark trousers and a dark hooded top.

A Post Office spokesman said: “The people who run our post office branches provide important services to local communities. Any robbery or attempted robbery is not only traumatic for those involved but is also an attack on a community service. We would like to reassure customers that we are trying to find a way to restore services to the area very soon.

“In the meantime, we will be supporting the police in their efforts to apprehend those responsible.”