Over the course of the past two days Peruvian police investigating the rape and murder of 22-year-old Tamar Shahak have questioned several suspects in connection to the case, which occurred in the historical center of the city Arequipa.
A Peruvian newspaper reported on Wednesday that investigators have arrested members of a local gang known for assaulting female tourists in Arequipa. One of those arrested - Angel Castillo Ramos (aka 'Chilano') – is suspected of being party to Shahak's murder.
The arrest came following a complaint filed by a British tourist who was attacked.
Tamar Shahak, the 22-year-old Israeli found dead Sunday in the southern Peruvian city of Arequipa, was strangled to death after being beaten over the head with a blunt object and raped by more than one person, according to initial police reports.
Meanwhile, Peru's President Alan Garcia on Tuesday demanded severe punishment for those who raped and killed Shahak while she was vacationing in southern Peru.
Garcia told reporters that he was moved by "the case of an Israeli journalist and soldier who was murdered because she dared to walk the streets of Arequipa alone." Her body was found near a field of crops some 5 miles (8 kilometers) outside Arequipa.
Body transferred to Lima Monday
Shahak, who recently completed her military service as a reporter with army radio, was traveling alone in southern Peru as a tourist. She arrived in Arequipa on April 29.
Police transferred the woman's body to Lima on Monday, from where it will be repatriated to Israel.
After Shahak's body was discovered, her former Army Radio colleague Asaf Charnilas said "Tamar was an active person, very friendly and warmhearted. After her release she worked for a short while at Walla (website), and a few months ago embarked on a long trip in South America."
Another one of Shahak's former colleagues, Gil Englestein, said "this is a horrible tragedy for the family and for everyone. She was a charming woman and it's hard to believe this happened; everyone is shocked."
The Associated Press contributed to this report