The incident happened near the rainbow monument on the Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead between 7.45pm and 8pm on Tuesday, January 9.
An argument broke out between a group of teenagers which erupted which resulted in two of the boys being stabbed by a large Combat knife.
Paramedics attended to the boys aged 16 and 17 were then taken to St Mary’s Hospital in London for treatment.
One suffered several stab wounds to his shoulder, thigh and chest, and the younger victim suffered a slash wound to his back.
Family and friends have been at the hospital all night as he undergoes surgery to his arm and puntured left lung.
The offender quickly made off from the scene by what is believed to been in a taxi.
Detective Sergeant Paul Perkins, from the Dacorum Local Crime Unit, said: “I would like to reassure the community that this type of crime is unusual in Hemel Hempstead, and at this stage we do not believe this was a random attack.
“We are doing everything we can to trace the person responsible but we would be very keen to speak to anyone who witnessed what happened and has not yet spoken to us. Equally, if you saw anyone running from the scene or leaving the area in a vehicle, please get in touch.”
If you have any information that may assist the investigation, please contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference D1/18/284
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