Twelve arrested in Ayia Napa 'over alleged rape' of British woman

Henry Austin

Twelve Israelis have been detained in Cyprus after a 19-year-old British woman alleged she had been raped in the resort town of Ayia Napa, police said.

It is unclear how many suspects are implicated in the case, according to a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation, which is is sitll in its early stages.

It is unclear whether the suspects knew the woman or whether they had been part of the same group.

But state broadcaster RIK reported that the woman and the 12 suspects were staying separately in the same hotel in the resort town is popular with young tourists for its pristine beaches and vibrant night life.

They will reportedly appear in court this week.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said it was "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police".

The Israelis were holidaying before they started their compulsory military service, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The victim had previously struck up a friendship with her alleged attackers, the newspaper claimed.

Some of the accused were minors, according to a separate report in The Tiimes of Israel which listed their ages as 16 and 17.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the newspaper that it was aware of the case, and that Cypriot law enforcement had allowed Israeli diplomats access to the suspects.