FEMALE revellers have been urged not to go off on their own in Glasgow city centre after a woman was raped by three men near to a popular theatre.
The 38-year-old was attacked after being dragged into Renfrew Lane, beside the Pavilion, on Renfield Street.
She had been followed up the street as she walked alone towards the theatre, just after midnight on Thursday night.
Police described the attack on the women - who had earlier been enjoying a night out with friends - as "terrifying".
She was believed to be recovering from her ordeal at home last night.
It is the third serious sexual assault on a woman in Glasgow city centre in a matter of months.
An 18-year-girl was attacked by two men last month after being pulled into McCormack Lane, near Buchanan Street.
In August, a 16-year-old girl was attacked while walking along Renfield Street, when a man forced her into Bath Lane.
Extra police officers were drafted into the city centre last night in an effort to "reassure" people that the city centre was still safe to socialise.
However, detectives urged women enjoying a night out to stay with their friends, especially if they were drinking alcohol.
Strathclyde Police said they were looking for three men "of Middle Eastern appearance" in their early twenties of average height and of slim build.
One of the men was wearing skinny jeans and a light coloured brown jacket or top. Yesterday officers carried out forensic examinations throughout the day in and around the scene of the incident on Renfrew Lane.
Detectives are also trawling through CCTV footage retrieved from local businesses in the area, which has a number of popular bars and restaurants.
Superintendent Val Thomson said: "Extra officers will be patrolling the city centre and I would like to reassure everyone that it is a safe place to socialise.
"My advice to women who are on a night out is please stay with your friends, don't go off on your own especially if you are having a drink. We appreciate people will naturally be concerned. I would like to reassure the community that we are working round-the-clock to trace the suspects."
Last night the force said it was pursuing "a number of lines of enquiry" in a bid to track down the rape gang.
Police arrived at the scene shortly after 7am yesterday and cordoned off several lanes in the area, before officers wearing protective white suits carried out detailed searches.
A police incident room has been set up in Glasgow city centre so officer to coordinate their investigations.
Supt Thomson added: "This was a terrifying and extremely distressing attack on the woman ,who had been on a night out with her friends in the city."They had left each other to head home and she was on her own when the attack took place.
"I would appeal to anyone who was in the Renfield Street area around the time of the incident or who may have seen the suspects in the area or even witnessed the attack to come forward.
"Anyone with information no matter how insignificant should contact police as a matter of urgency - it's vital we trace those responsible for this vicious attack."