An investigation is under way after a Lithuanian man was hospitalised in what is believed to be a racially-motivated hate crime in Belfast.

The man, who is in his forties, was attacked in the early hours of New Year's Day on Bedford Street in Belfast.

He was taken to hospital after the incident, but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

A PSNI constable said: "Some time between 3.40am and 4.00am a man, aged in his 40s, was assaulted by another man who had stopped to talk to him.

"The injured man is a foreign national and this incident is being treated as a racially motivated hate crime.

The assailant is described as being in his early thirties, of slim build and about 5ft 11in tall. He was wearing dark clothing and was armed with a sharp object.

The PSNI have appealed for witnesses to contact them.