Police in central India have arrested five men over the gang-rape of a Swiss woman on a cycling trip with her husband.

A senior police officer said all five men had admitted to the attack, which occurred late on Friday as the woman and her husband camped out in a forest in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh state.

Police said the couple told them that the woman had been raped by seven or eight men, but that they could not be sure of the exact number as it was dark at the time.

The couple told police that the husband was also attacked by the men.

The senior police officer said the men, who are from nearby villages, were arrested in Datia and that officers were searching for two other men believed to have been involved in the attack.

The Swiss woman was treated yesterday at a hospital in the nearby city of Gwalior and was later discharged.

The couple were planning to travel from Datia to the Indian capital of New Delhi, about 400km to the north.

The attack came three months after the fatal gang-rape of a woman on a New Delhi bus outraged Indians and spurred the government to pass laws to protect women.