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Detentions Made In Pakistan Over Highway Gang Rape

Pakistani authorities say they have detained 12 people for questioning after two armed men gang-raped a woman in front of her children after her car stalled on a highway.

In the overnight incident near the eastern city of Lahore, the assailants also stole cash and jewelry from the mother before fleeing the scene, police said on September 10.

Neither of the attackers is thought to be among those detained.

News of the assault drew widespread condemnation on social media, including from officials and politicians.

Musarrat Cheema, a spokeswoman in the eastern Punjab Province, said that law enforcement agencies were "working in close coordination to capture those involved in [the] painful motorway incident."

"So far 12 suspects have been arrested and search is going on," she tweeted.

A statement released by the Punjab police confirmed the arrests and said that "no stone will be left unturned to provide immediate justice to the victim and her family."

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also vowed that "justice will be done in the motorway case no matter what and those who tortured the victim will have to suffer strict punishment!"

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif wrote in a Twitter post that the "horrible incident calls for collective & multi-pronged action…NOT a knee-jerk response."

"We as a society are failing our women & children," he said. "For starters, at least stand with the victim and acknowledge the real problem."

Gang rape is relatively rare in Pakistan, although sexual harassment and violence against women is not uncommon.

Hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan in so-called honor killings for violating conservative Pakistani traditions on love, marriage, and public behavior.

With reporting by AP and Dawn
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