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Libya: Woman claiming rape is free

TRIPOLI, Libya — A woman who rushed into a hotel to tell foreign reporters that Libyan troops had raped her is free and with her family, the government said Sunday.

Iman al-Obeidi was tackled by waitresses and government minders as she told her story to journalists Saturday after running into the hotel where many are staying. She said that troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gang-raped.

The government says four men were interrogated, including the son of a high-ranking state official.

Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim claimed in an interview with The Associated Press that the woman was a prostitute who refused to undergo a medical examination, and that she is now with her sister in the Libyan capital.

“This girl is a prostitute. She has her rights completely, but the girl is not what she pretended to be, this is her line of work,” he said. But at a news conference in Tripoli several hours later, he did not repeat that allegation. AP

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