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Pakistani police arrest seminary teacher, his 2 friends on gang rape charges

Pakistani police have arrested a seminary teacher and two of his friends on charges of gang raping a college girl in a city in the northwest, a police official said Wednesday.

The incident took place on Monday in the city of Mansehra, which is home to several religious schools, said police officer Zulfiqar Jadon.

The seminary instructor, who had been teaching the Quran for several years, and his two companions lured the victim through her friend on the pretext of dropping them off home from college, then raped the girl in a moving car, Jardon said.

The teacher first confessed to the crime, then retracted his statement, saying the two schoolgirls had joined him and his friends on an outing.

The case is unusual since rape cases are rarely prosecuted in Pakistan and women who complain are often stigmatized. Circumstances are even more difficult if a perpetrator is a religious leader or respected seminary instructor whom the victim would be afraid to report.