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Two men held in France over rape of nine-year-old girl

The girl was found shortly after the attack Sunday and taken to a hospital as police launched a massive manhunt for her assailant over a large swathe of western France.

Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

POITIERS - French police have arrested two men in connection with the rape of a nine-year-old girl abducted at the weekend while out to buy bread in her village, sources said Tuesday.

The girl was found shortly after the attack Sunday and taken to a hospital as police launched a massive manhunt for her assailant over a large swathe of western France.

The girl was picked up by a driver in a residential area of Villiers, which has fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, as she walked to the bakers.

On Monday, two men were arrested in Saumur, 80 kilometres from Villiers, sources close to the investigation told AFP.

One of them is a suspect in the abduction and rape of the girl, while the possible role of the other was not made clear.

The first suspect is also wanted over another rape case a few days ago, in which the victim was a woman in her 70s. His car, recognised by police, is what led to his arrest.

DNA tests are to be conducted on the two men Tuesday.

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