A 90-year-old woman was dragged off the street and raped in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, as she walked to a local shop yesterday.
Police said the woman felt a hand go over her mouth before she was hauled backwards in Spotland Road at about 6.45am yesterday.
Due to the nature of the attack, the only description of the offender is that he was white.
Superintendent Alistair Mallen of Greater Manchester Police said: "The victim has been through an horrific ordeal and we are all hoping she can make a full recovery.
"She is now being supported by experienced officers and we are doing everything possible to reassure her that we will catch the man responsible.
Local MP Simon Danczuk said there was a "real sense of shock and horror" in the community after the attack.
He said: "Sexual abuse has left painful scars on our town in recent years and we are determined to confront this crime and make sure anyone connected to this type of activity is jailed."