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Egypt arrests second suspect in hotel rape case, three more held in Lebanon

A group of at least nine men are accused of raping an 18-year-old woman at the Fairmont Nile City hotel in 2014
The five-star Fairmont Nile City hotel, where an alleged sexual assault took place in 2014, in Cairo (File photo/AFP)

Egyptian public prosecutors have ordered the detention of a second man suspected of being involved in an alleged gang rape at a luxury hotel in Cairo pending investigations, in a well-publicised case in the country.

Police arrested the man on 28 August, days after a first suspect was arrested in Cairo, the prosecutors  in a statement on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Lebanese police said they had arrested three Egyptian men suspected of being involved in the alleged rape after receiving a notice from the international police organisation Interpol's office in Egypt.

The Egyptian nationals had fled to Lebanon and were arrested on 28 August in the village of Fatqa in Mount Lebanon, the Internal Security Forces said in a statement.

A group of at least nine men are accused of raping the 18-year-old woman at the Fairmont Nile City hotel in Cairo in 2014.

The investigation into the case, opened earlier this month, followed a social media outcry, leading to arrest warrants being issued for the suspects. 

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The arrest warrants were largely seen as a win for Egypt's Me Too movement, which has gained momentum on social media in recent months. 

Accusations emerged on social media in July, claiming that the men drugged and raped the woman, then used video of the incident to blackmail her into silence.

Earlier on Saturday, a report by Cairo24 website said that four suspects had been arrested, but the ISF later said it received a letter from Interpol in Egypt on 27 August with the names of seven Egyptian nationals in Lebanon accused of the rape, and that it "found that five of the seven had entered Lebanon previously" and that three remained in the country.

On Wednesday, the Egyptian public prosecutor's office said that seven suspects left Egypt between 27 and 29 July, but it did not say where they had travelled to. 

According to Cairo24, the suspects arrested in Lebanon include the "son of a well-known celebrity".

One of the three fled to London, the paper said, adding that he is "the son of a famous owner of a pharmacy chain in Egypt". Another is the son of a well-known businessman and is in the United States, the report said.