A man leaving a restaurant in Hempstead with a friend early Sunday was surrounded by as many as 10 "unknown suspects" and stabbed 14 times, police said.

Nassau County police said the wounds all were superficial and that the victim, 38, whose identity was not released, suffered no internal injuries.

The victim's friend was able to flee, unharmed, police said.

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The confrontation occurred outside the El Mariachi Loco Restaurant on Fulton Avenue at 3:21 a.m., Nassau police said. No one at the restaurant answered phone calls.

Police said the victim was surrounded by up to 10 suspects and was "stabbed and struck with belts." He managed to break from the assault, police said, but fell to the ground on North Franklin Avenue.

Hempstead Village police said the victim told officers that one person stabbed him. Village police said the incident occurred at two locations, Centre Street near North Franklin Avenue and on North Franklin, outside a chicken restaurant, where some of the victim's belongings were found on the street.

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The victim was taken to Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, Hempstead police said.

Police could not say Monday if the incident was gang-related. The suspects were described only as being in their early to mid-20s.

Nassau detectives are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.