Philadelphia police are seeking a man in his 20s who they say raped an 11-year-old girl while she was on her way to school this morning in the city's Northeast section.

The girl was badly injured and hospitalized. She is recovering from surgery, with her mother at her side.

Police said the man first made contect with the girl as she walked down Kensington Avenue shortly before 8:30 a.m. near the intersection with Orleans Street, in the 24th police district.

They said he approached the girl, threatened to shoot her (though he did not show her a gun) and made her walk with him for about seven blocks to an alley on the 2000 block of East Westmoreland Street. Police said he attacked her there.

After the assault, he left, and the girl made her way out to the street, where she was found by a passerby who called police.

The suspect is described as a white man about 5-8 with black or dark hair on his head and chin. The victim told police he had cuts on his neck and wore a pair of silver-rimmed sunglasses, which may have been lost at the scene, and a white shirt and shorts with red and black stripes.

Witnesses can call police at call 215-686-TIPS or 911.

Contact staff writer Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com.