WITNESSES have spoken of their horror after a woman was stabbed "several times" after a violent row.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after the male attacker repeatedly stabbed and punched his female victim in Downham Way at just after 1pm on Monday.

The 35-year-old white woman was treated for head injuries and stab wounds before being taken to hospital, where she later died.

Witnesses were left stunned by the brutal attack, which took place in broad daylight outside a parade of shops, near Galahad Road, Grove Park.

One said the pair, thought to be travelling in the same car, were having a heated row moments before the incident.

He says the black male attacker shouted at the woman to get in the car, before trying to force her in.

When she refused the witness claims the man punched and stabbed her "several times" before getting back into the car and driving over her.

He then abandoned the car, a red Nissan, before running off as a bus driver rushed to the woman's aid.

Another witness, shopowner Andre Vanier, drove past the woman as she lay in the road.

Mr Vanier, who owns Smart Phones, in Downham Way, said: "When I drove past I saw the woman lying on the ground.

"She was saying I can't breathe, I can't breathe'.

"She was bleeding heavily. People were trying to move her but I told them to wait until the ambulance arrived."

Another trader, Emrah Leyhan, who was in the car with Mr Vanier, said: "She looked in a really bad way. She was rolling around the floor, covered in blood."

The driver of a passing 124 bus went to help after raising the alarm with police and the ambulance service.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: "We are extremely proud of our driver, who responded to a woman's call for help in a swift and professional way."

It says it will now examine CCTV footage from the bus.

A 44-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.

If you saw the attack or can help police with their inquiries into the incident, call 020 8721 4868.