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Swiss tourist gang-raped in India

| Saturday, March 16, 2013, 6:18 p.m.

NEW DELHI — Four men raped a 39-year-old Swiss tourist camping with her husband in an Indian forest, police said on Saturday, turning the spotlight anew on the security of women in the world's largest democracy.

Authorities detained and questioned 13 men in connection with the latest attack, which occurred on Friday night as the couple camped out in a forest in Madhya Pradesh state after bicycling from the temple town of Orchha, local police Officer R.K. Gurjar said.

The Swiss woman and her husband were touring the state by bicycle and were camping overnight in the forest.

Seven men attacked the couple in their tent. They beat the couple and four of them raped the woman, Dilip Arya, deputy inspector general of police, told Reuters. They stole their valuables, a mobile phone, a laptop computer and $185.

The woman, 39, was treated in a hospital in the nearby city of Gwalior, Gurjar said.

A photo showed the woman walking while being escorted by police to the hospital. Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Tilman Renz described the case as “deeply disturbing” and said Swiss diplomats are assisting the couple.

The diplomats called on Indian authorities “to do everything to quickly find the perpetrators so that they can be held accountable,” Renz said in a statement.

One woman is raped every 20 minutes in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Last month, the Swiss government issued a travel notice for India that included a warning about “increasing numbers of rapes and other sexual offenses” in the South Asian nation.

Police detained 13 men and questioned them, Gurjar said.

Six of the men were released. No other details were available.

Indian television stations showed scores of police searching the forest where the attack occurred.

India has seen outrage and widespread protests against attacks on women since December's brutal gang-rape of a young woman on a moving bus in New Delhi, the capital. She died days later of her gruesome injuries. The crime horrified Indians and set off nationwide protests.

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