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Indian police arrest 5 in rape of Swiss tourist

| Sunday, March 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

NEW DELHI — Five men were arrested and have confessed to raping a Swiss woman who was attacked in central India while on a cycling vacation with her husband, police said.

Two other suspects are being sought, said Officer D. K. Arya. The five men arrested in Datia on Sunday are from villages near where the attack occurred Friday night as the Swiss couple camped in a forest in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state.

The couple told police that the woman had been raped by seven or eight men, but that it was dark and they could not be sure of the exact number, Arya said. They said the husband also was attacked by the men.

The woman, 39, was treated Saturday at a hospital in the nearby city of Gwalior and was released later that day, police said. Arya said the couple was heading to the Indian capital of New Delhi, about 250 miles to the north.

The attack was front-page news in Indian newspapers and happened three months after the fatal gang rape of a woman aboard a New Delhi bus, an attack that spurred outrage over the treatment of women in Indian society and the country's justice system.

Prior to the attack, the Swiss tourists, who were on a three-month visit, had visited the temple town of Orchha and were planning to cycle to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal, nearly 130 miles away.

They set out from Orchha on Friday and pitched their tent in a forest near Jatia village when they were attacked by men armed with sticks, police said.

The men beat up the husband, tied him to a tree and then raped the woman, police said. They also stole the couple's cellphone, laptop computer and 10,000 rupees ($185). Police said they recovered the laptop and phone from one of the men who was arrested.

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