THE CHAIR of Oxford Perm Association has shared her shock at reports a knife fight at a school in Oxford's twin city in Russia has left 15 people injured.

The local department of the Investigative Committee, a Russian law enforcement agency, revealed the incident started with a knife fight between two students and that teachers and other students were hurt when they tried to break it up.

The Investigative Committee said it was treating the incident as attempted murder of two or more people.

Of the 15 who were hurt, 12 have been taken to hospital, the city health department said.

The regional health ministry added that a female teacher and two students aged about 15 had been seriously wounded and were in surgery.

Nine children received what the department called "superficial injuries".

Karen Hewitt, Chair of the Oxford Perm Association, said: "Perm is notable as a quiet, civilised city, cultured and reasonably prosperous. 

"This attack on a teacher is shocking - but in no sense can it be described as typical of our twin city.

"We know such attacks can happen in Britain but they are very rare.

"The same is true of Russia, and certainly of Perm."

She added: "Many of our members have been to schools in Perm and have loved the atmosphere, the enthusiasm of the children and the loving concerns of the teachers.

"Much the same, we hope, as Perm citizens will find when they come to Oxford.

"As Chair of the Oxford Perm Association, I would like to say how sorry we are that this has happened, and we wish that the teacher concerned will make a full recovery."