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An increasing number of schoolgirls have been the target of sexual assault in recent months, the National Police Agency said Thursday, noting an 18.4 percent rise in the first 10 months of the year in the number of children overall who were victims of heinous crimes.

While the number of reported sexual assault cases targeting adult women from January to October reached 694, down 6.8 percent from the same period of last year, those involving elementary, junior high and high school girls rose 23.2 percent to 356, the NPA said.

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