A woman has been assaulted with a drill in a potentially homophobic attack in Co Tyrone.

A teenage boy was arrested after a 38-year-old woman suffered a "very serious" head injury, the PSNI said.

The victim is in a critical but stable condition in hospital after the attack, described as "barbaric" by local representatives.

A 17-year-old boy is being questioned after the incident which occurred at around 2am on Saturday morning in Railway Street in Strabane.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Brian Reid said they are looking into the possibility that the attack was homophobic and appealed to anyone with footage of a male with a cordless drill in the area at the time to contact them.

He said: "This was a brutal attack and the injuries sustained by the victim are extremely grave.

"We are exploring a possible homophobic motive for the crime and we are appealing for witnesses to get in touch with us.

"We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen a male carrying a drill in the area at around the time of the assault and we would especially like to speak to anyone who may have captured footage, either on mobile phone or dash-cam," said Det Sgt Reid.

Local politicians have expressed their disgust at the attack.

Sinn Fein West Tyrone Assembly member (MLA) Michaela Boyle said people are shocked at the "horrific" nature of the attack.

She added that, if there does turn out to be a homophobic motive behind the assault "then this barbaric attack is all the more reprehensible".

Fellow MLA Daniel McCrossan added his voice to the outrage, and called for those with information to come forward.

The SDLP representative said: "I am absolutely horrified by this assault. This kind of sickening behaviour has no place in society."

Officers are continuing to examine the scene and anyone with information is asked to contact police.