Police dog rescues woman during sexual assault in Baghdad
A dog in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has been praised after saving a woman from a brutal attempted rape, The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported.
A security official said on Friday that a woman was subjected to a violent sexual assault at noon in a street close to the ministry of defence building.
"Police have identified the assailant and are working to find and arrest him. The victim is currently in hospital in serious condition," the official said.
Social media users have shared images of the victim with serious injuries and said she was rescued by a guard dog.
"By chance, a police dog and his trainer were close to the attack and it seems the dog's sensed what was happening so he barked to alert the officer of the attack," a widely-shared account of the incident reads.
"The trainer then went after the assailant who escaped. If it wasn't for the dog's and the officer's quick reaction she would have been raped," it adds.
Women's rights activist Suaad Murad told The New Arab that she was shocked by the latest attack.
"How could this happen in broad daylight and next to the ministry of defence in central Baghdad?" she said.
The incident comes amid a spate of violence against women in Iraq that has seen several beauty industry professionals, a rights activist and a journalist gunned down in the streets.