TWO young women hitch-hiking across Morocco were kidnapped and gang-raped in a rural area in the centre of the country, confirms the Gendarmerie.
A Spanish woman of 18, who lives in Madrid, and her Moroccan friend, 20, have been given medical attention and counselling at the main hospital in the central province of Sidi Kacem, and the three suspected attackers arrested.
The Spanish consulate in the capital, Rabat, says the younger woman has not made contact with them.
According to the Moroccan daily newspaper Al-Massae, the women had spent Friday in the popular winter tourism area and ski station in Ifrane and were trying to get to Tetouan on the coast – a journey of five hours and 22 minutes by road directly due north.
They were hitch-hiking on the side of a rural road when a young man approached them and offered to take them somewhere for a cup of tea and provide a bed for the night in a 'safe location'.
But instead, he drove them into a forest where a group of his male friends were waiting, and they were gang-raped.
Medical authorities say the rape was not 'consummated' and the assault was 'only superficial', meaning their injuries were minimal, although they were in a state of shock and terror.
A passing resident heard the girls screaming and called the Gendarmerie, who managed to arrest the men within a matter of hours.