Four men have been arrested in Italy on suspicion of sexually assaulting two British girls on holiday who are reportedly both aged 15.
The alleged gang rape took place during a party in a villa in the town of Marconia di Pisticci on Monday night.
The four men detained and currently in custody are reportedly aged between 19 to 23.
A further three suspects are also being investigated, while an eighth is yet to be identified.
A judge said the alleged assault involved “serious and brutal violence”.
One of the suspected attackers is said to have won the trust of the victims, who did not speak Italian, before taking advantage of them after they had consumed alcohol.
CCTV footage released by police showed one of the girls was pushed by a group of males into a dark corner of the villa before being followed by three other males and the other victim.
Officers said the two girls were then sexually assaulted in separate attacks that lasted about 15 minutes.
Local media outlets have reported that both of the girls were hit before being gang raped.
The girls contacted police several hours later, and were treated in hospital.
They are said to have been in a state of shock, with marks on their bodies suggesting signs of violence, according to reports.
The Adnkronos news agency has reported the pair have since been discharged.
Police in the southern province of Matera said: “On the night between 7-8 September, in Marconia di Pisticci, sexual violence was committed against two foreign minors who were at a party in a villa.
“The investigative unit of Matera police headquarters has begun investigations in coordination with the public prosecutor’s office.”
The lawyer for the two girls, Giuseppe Rago, said: “What happened is extremely serious, and we hope the judicial authority will do justice to the girls and their parents for what they had to endure.”
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