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Pakistan police arrest 2 men accused of gang raping US woman

Police officers escort a man in handcuffs for a court appearance who was allegedly involved in the gang-rape of an American woman, in Dera Ghazi Khan, in the eastern Punjab province, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Saleem Raza)

Pakistan’s police have arrested at least two people after a 21-year-old American woman reported she was gang raped at a hotel when she was visiting a tourist resort in the eastern Punjab province, officials said Wednesday.

The detainees included the woman’s host, who took her to a hotel in Dera Ghazi Khan, a district in the Punjab province where she says she was sexually assaulted this week, according to an initial police investigation.

The woman arrived in Pakistan three weeks ago, according to police. The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex abuse.

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Police say they are still investigating to determine how the woman was lured and taken to a hotel by the two men accused of raping her. The woman earlier stayed at the home of one of the alleged attackers for five days.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad told The Associated Press that its consulate in Pakistan’s city of Lahore was ready to provide consular services to the victim.

“The protection of U.S. citizens overseas is the highest priority of the U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad,” it said. It said “out of respect for the privacy of the alleged victim, we cannot comment on the specifics of the allegation.”

Although sexual abuse against Pakistani women is common, such crimes against foreigners are rare. Many Pakistani women don’t report such incidents to avoid stigma in a society where rapists often escape justice because of flaws in the legal system and poor investigations by police.

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