AN 11-year-old girl has been gang-raped by up to five men in an hours-long ordeal that has sparked outrage.
Four men are in custody, according to authorities in Kosovo, where the horror act took place.
Interior Minister Xelal Svecla confirmed the rape occurred two days ago in the country's capital, Prishtina.
"I received with concern the news about the rape of a minor girl, 11 years old, by five people for several hours in a row," he said.
"I am aware of the legitimate concern of every parent and every girl in our country. I have requested a full commitment from the Kosovo Police for the fastest possible arrest of all the perpetrators of this macabre act."
Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani vowed a swift and immediate response from law enforcement to the "shocking and inhumane act" that has left Kosovans in shock.
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The 40-year-old female head of state said it was "time to proceed with legislative changes that further toughen the punishments for perpetrators".
She said: "Our collective responsibility is to ensure that all children are guaranteed a dignified childhood and to eliminate gender-based violence."
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti urged police to "bring the suspects to justice as soon as possible" for the "shocking, reprehensible and unacceptable crime" while another minister assembled an crack-force legal team to investigate the case.
PM Kurti said: "Such brutal acts of violence against children must be treated with high seriousness, at the institutional level and social and cultural level."
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In Kosovo, rape is punishable by between two and ten year and between five ad 20 years in the case of a minor, according to Exit News.
According to the Kosovo's Women's Network, over 70 percent of all sexual assaults and rape in the country involve female minors.
A recent study has found that the number of rapes reported to Kosovo police has doubled while convictions remain worryingly low.
According to an EU analysis, some 90 percent of rapes in the fledgling country go unreported with only 228 incidents reported in the last two years.
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