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Girl, 15, 'gang-raped by 38 men' in Malaysia and then arrested

Some suspects have been arrested but others are on the loose

A 15-year-old schoolgirl has reportedly been gang-raped by 38 men in an abandoned house in Malaysia.

She survived the horrific ordeal but was then arrested by police in the Kelantan region as part of their investigation.

Police detained 13 men, including a father and his two sons, and are looking for the other suspects between the ages of 20 and 40.

The New Straits Times reported that the victim met a female friend and was lured to an empty building believed to be a local drug haunt in Ketereh on 20 May.

The men allegedly “took turns” to rape her for hours and police were investigating whether her 17-year-old friend was also raped.

The horrific crime is being used by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party to argue for the introduction of harsher Islamic penal laws, hudud, to punish rape.

Newspapers quoting information from the district police chief, Azham Otham, said 38 men were involved.

Several of those detained had tested positive for amphetamine, the reports said. Police said action could have been taken had villagers reported the addicts’ presence.

“It is very disturbing to me that no one in the village was even suspicious when the closest neighbour was a mere 20 meters away,” Mr Otham told The Star.

Almost 3,000 rapes were reported to Malaysian police in 2012, of which 52 per cent involved girls aged 16 and below, according to police statistics.

Convicted rapists face up to 30 years in prison and whipping in Malaysia but many on internet sites wanted stricter punishment.

“We are seeing a prevalence in rape cases because boys are raised in an environment where they think it is okay to use violence,” Suri Kempe of Sisters in Islam told Reuters.

It is one of several brutal cases this week underscoring endemic violence against women in parts of Asia.

News of the incident came amid international outrage over the rape and murder of two teenage cousins left hanging from a tree in India's Uttar Pradesh state.

Additional reporting by Reuters