The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily Tuesday 22 July 2008 (18 Rajab 1429 RIYADH: An Asian housemaid has taken shelter at her embassy after being abducted and gang-raped by seven men in Riyadh last week. "The 22-year old maid ... was forced into a car, taken to an undisclosed location and later dropped off at the same place from where she was picked up," said a spokesman for the embassy. "The housemaid left her employer's home to throw garbage into the municipality's garbage bin when the men overpowered her and abducted her," he said, adding that the men invited their friends to rape the woman until she bled and became unconscious. "The men repeatedly raped her and left her in a battered and bleeding state," he said. On June 27, Arab News reported the story of another maid who was also gang-raped and is now being cared for at a maids' shelter run by her embassy. The embassy spokesman said the victim of the first rape would be repatriated to her country. "No arrests have been made in both cases so far... A number of similar cases are being reported by different embassies on a more frequent basis now," he added. Over the past year, local newspapers have reported incidents of maids giving birth to babies after falling pregnant in sexual assaults. The problem of maids being abused has become a major issue for some embassies, which are forced to devote a substantial amount of their time, effort and money in dealing with the problem. Meanwhile, Waleed Al- Soweidan, chairman of the Saudi Recruitment Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Kingdom started directly recruiting housemaids from Nepal following an agreement between the two countries several months ago. Due to the absence of a Saudi diplomatic mission in Katmandu, Nepalese maids come to the Kingdom via India or Bangladesh. Al-Soweidan said that the National Recruitment Committee has agreed that the monthly salary for a housemaid from Nepal should be no less than SR500 and that Katmandu should train the maids before sending them to the Kingdom.