American tourist gang-rape: India police arrest three men

Police stop a tourist bus at a checkpoint put in place following the rape of a US tourist in the Indian town of Manali on 5 June 5, 2013 Police had set up checkpoints in and around Manali after the crime

Three men have been arrested in connection with the gang-rape of a 30-year-old American woman in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, police said.

The woman was attacked early on Tuesday after she accepted a lift by three men in a truck in Manali, a resort town.

Police said the men drove the woman to a secluded spot where they raped her and robbed her.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December.

The gang-rape of the student sparked widespread protests and prompted the government to alter laws relating to rape in India.

Five men and one juvenile have been charged with the rape. One of the men has since hanged himself in prison, officials say.

The American tourist had arrived in Manali on Monday and had been on a visit to Vashisth, a nearby tourist area popular with foreigners, police said.

She was delayed and had been looking for a taxi in the early hours of Tuesday morning when the men in the truck offered her lift.

Roadblocks were set up in and around Manali and on Wednesday, police said they had traced the vehicle in which the crime took place.

The attack comes after a Swiss tourist was gang-raped in Madhya Pradesh state in March - six men were arrested in connection with that attack.

That same month, India passed a new bill containing harsher punishments, including the death penalty in certain cases, for rapists.

Reported cases of sexual assault are on the rise in India, although foreign tourists are rarely targeted.

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