An investigation is under way into a possible paramilitary link to the abduction of a 22-year-old man in Northern Ireland last night.

The man was thrown into a van and had a hood placed over his head before being driven outside Strabane in Co Tyrone.

He was beaten by a number of men and sustained a number of serious injuries including a suspected broken arm and large gash to his head, the PSNI said.

Detective Sergeant Brian Reid said the victim was walking in the Carlton Drive area at around 11pm when a grey van pulled up alongside him.

"He was pulled inside the vehicle, had a hood placed over his head, and had his hands and feet bound.

"The van was then driven some distance out of the town before stopping and a vicious assault being carried out on the male by a number of men," said DS Reid.

The man was then driven back into the town and dumped in Bradley Way before midnight.

"While the injuries are not life threatening, this was a horrifying attack that will have had a major impact on the victim and his loved ones," DS Reid said.

He added: "I am appealing for community help in identifying the perpetrators of this crime.

"There can be no justification for criminal groups carrying out such brutal attacks, attempting to control communities through fear and violence."

It is understood possible paramilitary involvement is one line of police inquiry.