SINGAPORE - The attack was so vicious that an eyewitness said the flesh on one of the victim's calves was almost cut through and severed.
Mr Mohammad Ashiq Saptu, a 20-year-old mover, also suffered a deep cut on his left arm in the attack by two men in a park facing Block 641, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, around 5.30pm on Sunday.
A first-year nursing student, Mr Naqiuddin Saszri, 19, was among the first to help the victim as he lay bleeding on the ground while being cradled by his girlfriend.
The Simei ITE student told The New Paper that he was taking a nap in his grandparents' home in Block 641 when he heard his grandmother shouting.
"She was screaming, 'Call the police! Call the police!' I immediately rushed out of the bedroom to investigate. By then, my grandmother had gone downstairs."
Mr Naqiuddin ran after her, and that was when he spotted Mr Mohammad Ashiq and his girlfriend. She was covered in blood and seemed to be in shock. The attackers were gone by then.
The woman, who appeared to be in her 20s, was shouting for help and a large crowd had gathered in the park.
Mr Naqiuddin immediately decided to put what he had learnt in his nursing courses to good use. After asking the woman to calm down, he checked the semi-conscious man's vital signs and noticed that his pulse was weak.
He then asked the man if he could hear him, and the latter managed to groan a weak "yes".
Mr Naqiuddin then noticed the severity of his wounds and decided to call for an ambulance. He said: "I would have performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on the guy if I could not detect a pulse."
"At first my grandmother wanted to take some bandages to help stop the bleeding, but I stopped her from doing so. The wounds looked very serious and even though she meant well, I feared that she might be doing more harm than good."
Mr Naqiuddin said the ambulance arrived minutes later, but to him, it felt "like forever". By the time paramedics took the man to hospital, he noticed that his hands were covered with blood.
An eyewitness told Shin Min Daily News that she saw one man holding Mr Mohammad Ashiq while another man, who looked agitated, slashed him with a long knife.
"The attacker was jumping around as he slashed the victim while shouting in Malay, 'You deserve it. You deserve it,'" said the witness, a 21-year-old student who wanted be known as Natasha.
"My grandmother shouted, 'Police!' and the assailants fled. When we went down, the victim was pale, and both his legs and left arm were slashed, and he was lying in his girlfriend's arms. The injury on his right leg was particularly bad. The flesh was hanging and the wound was deep enough to see the bone."
The Chinese evening daily also reported that a chopper and a scabbard measuring 80cm were found at the scene.
Another resident, Mr Gary Haris, 39, was driving home to nearby Block 615 when he noticed that a section of the park had been cordoned off.
The senior business development manager saw more than 10 police officers in the area. Curious, he asked a bystander what was going on and was told about the attack.
'Passers-by were shocked'
"I heard that the two men were very brazen. They just marched up to the man in broad daylight and attacked him. Passers-by were shocked by what they saw, and some screamed in fear and ran away," he said.
He is worried for the safety of his one-year-old boy, as he often takes him to a playground in the park.
"This park is usually crowded with people. I would imagine that children can be traumatised when they witness such a violent attack. The assailants could even knock down young children and hurt them in their bid to get away," he added.
Mr Naqiuddin, who has lived there with his grandparents for 10 years, said this was the first time to his knowledge that such an incident had taken place in the area.
"I hope this was a one-off incident. I'm aware there have been other violent crimes recently, but I don't think Singapore is becoming more dangerous. I have full confidence in the police force," he added.
The police said they received a call about the incident around 5.35pm on Sunday.
Mr Mohammad Ashiq was found injured and taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where he is believed to be in intensive care.
TNP understands the attackers are still at large. Police investigations are continuing.
Next page: Slashings so far this year
SLASHINGS SO FAR THIS YEAR
A man in his 40s was slashed by three men at Geylang Lorong 17. He suffered head injuries and wounds on his neck, arms and legs. The reason for the attack is unclear.
A man, 39, chased three men with an 18cm-long knife after an argument at a Sembawang newsstand. The three men fought back. The 39-year-old and two of the men were injured and taken to hospital.
Two men in their 20s were attacked near Tampines West Community Club by four men, also in their 20s. One had his nose slashed off with a 35cm combat knife, while the other suffered multiple slash wounds.
A 49-year-old man slashed three women in their 20s with a paper cutter at a void deck in Bukit Batok. The women were not severely injured. The man was believed to be mentally challenged.
A man in his 30s suffered multiple slash wounds on his head and body in an attack by three men in their 20s in Geylang. A bloody cutter was later found at the scene.
A 28-year-old man was disarmed and detained by three passers-by after he robbed and slashed a 20-year-old woman with a fruit knife at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6.
A 20-year-old fulltime national serviceman was attacked by nine people outside Orchard Cineleisure, two of whom slashed him with knives, apparently because they did not like the way he walked.
Chinese national Li Yongxiang, 26, slashed and killed his colleague, Mr Zhu Ai Hua, 35, also a Chinese national, with a chopper. The two had been arguing.
A 25-year-old Chinese national was killed with at least 10 wounds to her face. Her boyfriend, a Chinese national in his 30s, is believed to have killed her after a row in their rented room at a flat in Choa Chu Kang.
Motor workshop owner Tan Boon Sin, 67, was found dead with slash wounds in his home in Hillside Drive in Upper Serangoon. His son, Mr Tan Chee Heong, 42, who was also slashed, was dragged by a car for almost 1km.