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Indian police shoot dead four suspects in rape-murder case

The men were killed while trying to escape during a re-enactment of the crime staged in the middle of the night in the southern city of Hyderabad, a top police officer told AFP.

Activists from Shiv Sena Taksali shout slogans as they burn effigies of 'rapists' to protest against the alleged rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad, during a demonstration in Amritsar on December 5, 2019. Picture: AFP.

NEW DELHI, India - Indian police said Friday they shot dead four men accused of the gang rape and killing of a 27-year-old woman that sparked nationwide protests.

The men were killed while trying to escape during a re-enactment of the crime staged in the middle of the night in the southern city of Hyderabad, a top police officer told AFP.

"They were killed in the crossfire. They tried to snatch weapons from the guards but were shot dead," Prakash Reddy, a deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad said.

"We called an ambulance but they died before any medical help could reach them."

The four were arrested last week on charges of raping, murdering and burning the body of the veterinary doctor, who had parked her scooter on a busy highway on 27 November.

The men deflated her scooter tyre and lured her to a truck yard with the promise of fixing the machine, according to police.

They allegedly then raped and murdered the woman before setting the body on fire under an isolated bridge.

The crime sparked nationwide outrage in India, which has been in the international spotlight over its handling of such cases since the gang-rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi in 2012.

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