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Indian police arrest five in rape case

Search on for two others in assault on Swiss tourists

The five men have admitted to the attack on a Swiss woman and her husband, according to police.

Sanjeev Gupta/EPA

The five men have admitted to the attack on a Swiss woman and her husband, according to police.

NEW DELHI — Police said they arrested five men Sunday in connection with the rape of a Swiss woman who was attacked in central India while on a cycling vacation with her husband.

All five men admitted to the attack, which occurred Friday night as the woman and her husband camped out in a forest in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state, said D.K. Arya, a senior police officer.

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Arya said the men, who are from nearby villages, were arrested in Datia. Police were searching for two other men believed to have been involved in the attack, he said.

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.

The couple were planning to travel later Sunday from Datia to the Indian capital of New Delhi, about 250 miles to the north, Arya said.

The attack came three months after the multiple rape and killing of a woman aboard a New Delhi bus outraged Indians, and was front-page news in Indian newspapers on Saturday.

Prior to the attack, the couple, who were on a three-month vacation in India, 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 a group of men armed with wooden 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 $185. Police said they recovered the laptop and phone from one of the men who was arrested.

The Swiss ambassador in India, Linus von Castelmur, said he spoke with the couple and assured them of the Swiss government’s help and support.

‘‘Their health and treatment is the priority of the moment,’’ the Swiss Embassy said in a statement.

The embassy said it was in touch with authorities in Madhya Pradesh and has urged a ‘‘swift investigation and for justice to be done.’’

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, and the latest incident could prompt other countries to issue similar warnings.

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