AN extensive police operation is under way after a man died after a disturbance outside an Edinburgh pub.

A number of people are understood to have been involved in the alleged incident.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the man, named locally as Mark Squires, was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.

It is unclear how many people were involved in the disturbance.

Police said the 44-year-old victim was seriously injured in a lane beside the Longstone Inn, in Longstone Road, at around 1.30am on Sunday.

Detectives believe a number of people were involved in the disturbance and are appealing for witnesses.

The area has been cordoned off while the scene is investigated.

Forensic experts combed the scene for evidence and door to door inquiries were being conducted.

It is unclear if there is any CCTV footage of the time leading up to and after the incident.

The popular inn sits in the centre of the Longstone community in the west side of Edinburgh.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Hardie, of Police Scotland, said: "We believe a number of people were involved in the disturbance in the lane at the side of the Longstone Inn, and I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or has information to get in touch immediately."

It was reported that one resident, Christine Wright, 65, who lives opposite the scene, said she had been heard "commotion” at the time of the incident, adding: "I didn’t hear an argument but I did hear a lot of banging.

"When I did look out I saw a blue flashing light - that was about half past one. “I’m astounded.

"We do get a lot of things going on but I’ve never seen all the crime scene things up.

"I just assumed it was some drunks. “I’ll be really devastated if it’s anyone we know.”

It was also reported another resident, who did not want to be named, had described such an incident as unusual for the area, adding: “It’s shocking.

"That pub is usually heaving at the weekend but there’s never usually any bother. “It’s such a quiet area round here, you never hear anything.”