An elderly business couple were “pistol whipped” with an imitation gun during a terrifying raid at their Bradford shop.

The couple needed hospital treatment after two masked men attacked them as they opened up for business.

Detectives condemned the attack, which happened at a newsagents’ shop in Southfield Lane, Great Horton, shortly before 7am yesterday.

The 67-year-old woman shopkeeper had just opened the shop and was behind the counter putting out newspapers when two masked men burst in.

The intruders, who were wearing dark clothing, pulled down the security shutter and produced a metal gun, which might have been a toy, which they used to strike her on the hands.

She screamed, and her 74-year-old husband came downstairs from their living quarters.

A brief struggle took place during which he was hit on the head with the weapon. In the melee, his wife managed to activate the alarm and the two men fled the shop and ran off. The man chased after them but they escaped.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Hannah Mansell, of Bradford South CID, said the incident lasted a matter of seconds and no demands were made.

Det Con Mansell said: “They appear to have suffered minor injuries but they have both gone to hospital because the man was hit on the head and his wife is having X-rays on her hand.

“These are two elderly people who have run their shop for 20 years. They are in a vulnerable position and are just going about their daily business when they have been subjected to an assault by two people for no reason whatsoever.

“At this stage there seems no motive for this assault. The couple are really lovely people who are well known and very popular.”

The suspects were both believed to be Asian.

Anyone who has any information about the suspects is urged to contact Bradford South CID, via 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.