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Indian police raid 'hideouts' in search for American woman's attackers

From Neha Sharma, CNN
updated 10:47 AM EDT, Wed June 5, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Police arrest three men, but woman says they were not her attackers
  • Police stage raids in search for American woman's attackers
  • The woman hasn't been able to provide many clues about men who raped her, police say
  • She's at her hotel under protection of a police officer, official says

New Delhi (CNN) -- An American woman who authorities say was gang-raped by three men after visiting a popular Hindu temple in northern India was resting in her hotel Wednesday under the protection of a police officer while investigators searched for her attackers.

The 31-year-old woman was raped after leaving the Vashishth Temple site around 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to police. After failing to find a taxi to take her back to her hotel, she accepted a ride from three men who took her to a wooded area where they raped and robbed her, authorities said.

Read: Anger, frustration over rapes in India: 'Mindset hasn't changed'

The woman was examined at a hospital and released, according to police Superintendent Vinod Kumar Dhawan. She was staying at a hotel in Manali with friends, according to authorities. A police escort has been assigned to protect her, they said.

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The woman was unable to provide significant details about the men or the truck they were driving, making it difficult for police to make an arrest, Dhawan said.

Regardless, a special investigative team had been formed and had been carrying out raids at potential hideouts, Dhawan said.

Authorities had arrested three men in the case, but the woman said they were not the men who attacked her, according to police. It was unclear if the men, who had been questioned to gain possible leads, remained in custody Wednesday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi confirmed diplomatic officials had been in touch with local authorities about the case, but declined to talk further about it.

Violent rapes in India have made headlines recently. A 4-year-old girl died after being sexually assaulted by a 35-year-old man in Ghansaur in April, and a 5-year-old girl was allegedly raped two weeks earlier in New Delhi. Two men were arrested in that case.

Read: Alleged rape of 5-year-old spurs protests, reflection in India

Six men are facing rape and burglary charges after the rape of a Swiss tourist in March.

And a 23-year-old woman was gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi in December and later died of her injuries. Five men were charged in the case; one has since died in prison.

That attack spurred protests across the nation, where most women have stories of sexual harassment and abuse on public transportation or on the streets, according to the Indian Council on Global Relations.

Read: Rape case 'an awakening' for India, victim's father says

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