ONE man has been murdered and another seriously injured in an outbreak of violence in a quiet Edinburgh neighbourhood.

The 25-year-old victim is believed to have been shot dead after two groups of black males went on the rampage across the capital, some armed with firearms and knives, with police saying the killing followed a lengthy car chase on Saturday night.

At least six men are now being hunted by police, with officers working to track down relatives of the victims, who have no known connections to the area, following the attacks in the leafy Willowbrae neighbourhood.

Large swathes of Willowbrae and Duddingston were sealed off to the public as police embarked on a manhunt.

Police said they were dealing with a firearms incident although they would not confirm whether the man had died from gunshot wounds until the full results of a post-mortem examination had been received.

Detective Superintendent Gary Flannigan, of Police Scotland, said: "We do not think that the vehicles and people involved come from the area.

"The location of the incident appears to be relatively random. The incident involved two groups of black men who had been fighting.

"We have good reason to believe that firearms were involved in the incident."

The drama came to light when a man was found seriously injured in Abercorn Crescent in the city at around 1am yesterday morning and later died at hospital.

It is understood he died from gunshot wounds, although this has not been confirmed by police.

An hour after he was first found, a second man was found bleeding heavily in the front garden of a house in an adjacent street, Paisley Crescent. He remains in hospital, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Paisley Crescent and Abercorn Crescent, lined with bungalows and villas, sit to the east of Arthur's Seat in a quiet residential area.

Police believe more men may have been injured in the violence, with a blue VW Sharan people carrier found extensively damaged in Abercorn Crescent after apparently crashing into railings.

It is one of three vehicles thought to have been involved in the car chase, with Mr Flannigan saying police were interested in any witnesses who may have seen vehicles involved in a chase in the central Edinburgh area on Saturday night.

A black saloon-type vehicle and a silver Fiat Punto are of particular interest to investigating officers.

Mr Flannigan added: "We have every reason to believe there was a series of related incidents involving two groups of black men who do not appear to be local to this area of Edinburgh, and some of those involved may be seeking refuge and lying low. I would urge anyone who has information about any such individual or anyone who has unexplained injuries to let us know.

"Inquiries are at an early stage and an extensive cordon is in place around the scene. Significant policing resources have been allocated to this inquiry and house-to-house and detailed searches of the area will be carried out during the course of the day."

He added: "It is extremely unusual for the Edinburgh area or Scotland to have incidents of this nature."

Willowbrae residents reported hearing a police helicopter circling overhead at around 3am yesterday morning, with police officers calling at addresses at around 6am as door-to-door inquiries got under way.

One resident said: "I woke up hearing the helicopter and the police came to my door early in the morning. There are a large number of houses in Abercorn Crescent taped off and forensics people have been around all day. It's normally very quiet around here, but there is very little information as to what actually happened."

Another resident added: "A police officer has been outside my house all day but it is still unclear to me what has been going on."

Extra police were patrolling the area last night in a bid to reassure residents. Mr Flannigan said police were interested in speaking to cab drivers. "We are appealing to taxi drivers," he said. "Two men were seen flagging down a taxi."