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Police hunt men who raped US tourist

Searching for clues in latest Indian gang rape case

<p>A truck drives along the Manali-Leh highway. Police are patrolling all roads out of Manali (AFP photo by Alexander Klein)</p>

A truck drives along the Manali-Leh highway. Police are patrolling all roads out of Manali (AFP photo by Alexander Klein)

  • Ritu Sharma, New Delhi
  • India
  • June 5, 2013
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Police investigating the gang rape of an American tourist in the north Indian hill resort of Manali were still searching for clues on Wednesday as they identified the type of vehicle used and collected forensic evidence.

Police detained three suspects on Tuesday but they were later released after the 30-year-old victim, who can not be named under Indian law, was unable to identify them.

“There are no new leads in the case,” said a police official in Manali on condition of anonymity.

Police have cordoned off the whole town to monitor the movement of vehicles after it was determined that a construction truck was used by the three men during Tuesday's attack, when they gave her a lift because she could not find a taxi.

The attackers then took her to an isolated spot and gang raped her for over an hour before stealing her money, mobile phone and travel documents, according to police.

“She is recovering fast and helping us move forward with the investigation,” Senior Police Officer VK Dhawan told AFP. “She has given us details of how the men looked, what they were wearing, which will help us.”

She was due to meet US embassy officials later on Wednesday, AFP reported.

Tuesday’s case was the second rape of a foreign national in a week in India. An Irish woman was attacked by a businessman in the eastern city of Kolkata after the two of them partied in a night club on June 1.

In March, a Swiss national was gang raped by five men when she was camping with her partner in a forest in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh, central India.

In another incident in March, a British tourist jumped from her hotel room window in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, to escape a sex attack from the hotel's boss.

A recent survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India recorded a 25 percent fall in tourism and listed safety and security concerns as the major causes for the decline.

Another survey by an Indian trade body found a 35 percent fall in female tourists from abroad this year amid lurid headlines in the international media.

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