Police have been called in to protect a school bus ferrying dozens of pupils home after it was repeatedly targeted by a gang of youths.

The Yorkshire Martyrs Catholic College bus came under fire by three teenagers throwing rocks on three nights.

A window was smashed as the vehicle travelled in Killinghall Road, Bradford Moor, towards Thornbury, in the first incident last Thursday. Students were showered with glass and some suffered minor cuts.

On Friday night the school's bus was pelted with fireworks at the same time and place.

Then on Monday more bricks were thrown, smashing another window and putting a 12-year-old girl in hospital with a head injury. David Wortley, assistant head teacher at the school in Tong, said two police officers travelled on the B11 school bus last night in a bid to deter more attacks.

He said: "We have been in contact with the bus company which arranged with the police for two officers to ride with the first bus. The second bus - the A11 went in tandem.

"We have had reports of the A11, which follows part of the same route, experiencing similar problems but nothing this serious.

"These things do happen but fortunately it is rare.

"I'm sure that the police will catch these guys."

One parent, who did not wish to be named, said she was afraid to allow her daughter back on the bus again for fear the attacks would escalate.

"The first night my daughter came home covered in glass, then on Monday it happened again," she said. "My concern is how much worse is it going to get.

"That's three nights in a row and I don't think it's going to stop there."

The police confirmed that the two brick attacks had been reported by the bus driver, along with the injury to the pupil - which was being treated as an assault causing actual bodily harm.

Neighbourhood policing units have been asked to step up their presence in the area to deter future attacks.

Khadim Hussain, operations director for First Bradford, said: "This matter is currently under investigation and we are in urgent discussion with the police and the school. We are currently exploring our CCTV systems to see of the with the help of the police can identify the culprits.

"First Bradford will simply not tolerate incidents of this nature and will take whatever steps are necessary to assist the police in prosecuting those individuals concerned."

The suspects are described as Asian and aged between 16 and 17. One was wearing black trousers, a white hooded top and white trainers.

Anyone with information should contact police on (01274) 376259.

e-mail: jo.winrow@bradford.newsquest.co.uk