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Gang-rape victim dies, India transfixed

The brutal attack on the young woman touched off protests - as well as a national conversation on rape and the safety of women that could intensify with her passing.

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In this file photo, Indians participate in a candle light vigil to seek a quick recovery of the young victim of the recent brutal gang-rape in a bus in New Delhi, India. A statement by Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth hospital, where the 23-year-old victim was being treated, said she died Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012.

Saurabh Das/AP/File

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A young Indian woman who was gang-raped and severely beaten on a bus in New Delhi died Saturday at a Singapore hospital, after her ordeal galvanized Indians to demand greater protection from sexual violence that impacts thousands of women daily, in homes, streets, and public transport, but which often goes unreported.

She "passed away peacefully" with her family and officials of the Indian embassy by her side," said Dr. Kevin Loh, the chief executive of Mount Elizabeth hospital where she had been treated since Thursday. "The Mount Elizabeth Hospital team of doctors, nurses and staff join her family in mourning her loss," he said in a statement.

He said the woman had remained in an extremely critical condition since Thursday when she was flown to Singapore from India.

"Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain. She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome."

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.

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