A MAN has been arrested after two boys were shot with an air rifle while they played football with their friends.

The youngsters, aged 11 and 12, were playing near a primary school in Crawley just after 12pm on Thursday when they were struck with air gun pellets, police said.

The younger boy was hit in the arm and had to be taken to hospital for treatment, and the other child was hit in the leg.

They had been playing on open ground in Oak Way in the Northgate area of the town, near Northgate Primary School.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police made immediate inquiries and a 47-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and of firing an air weapon in public.

“He is currently in custody for interview and further inquiries.

“Officers seized an air rifle at a local address for examination.”