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Rights group warns of repeated mob-led sexual assaults in Egypt if perpetrators go unpunished

An international rights group warns that mob-led sexual assaults targeting Egypt's female protesters could increase if perpetrators are not punished.

The London-based Amnesty International says statements from victims show that assaults follow a "clear pattern," where mobs of men encircle the victims, assault them with weapons and hands and then try to undress them.

"Horrific, violent attacks on women, including rape in the vicinity of Tahrir Square, demonstrate that it's now crucial (Egyptian) President (Mohammed) Morsi takes drastic steps to end this culture of impunity and gender-based discrimination," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International.

A total of 19 violent attacks against women were reported on Jan. 25, the day Egyptians staged a huge demonstration in Cairo to mark the second anniversary of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.