Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 17:31 UK

In pictures: Austria abuse scandal

Josef F

A 73-year-old Austrian, Josef Fritzl, from the town of Amstetten, has confessed to imprisoning his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathering her seven children, police have said.

House in the town of Amstetten in the province of Lower Austria

In 1984, police say, he drugged and handcuffed Elisabeth and locked her in the cellar. During her 24-year imprisonment, Elisabeth gave birth to seven children, including twins in 1996 - one of which died.

Police photo handouts showing the inside of the 'prison' in the basement

Police have released photos of the cellar in which they were kept. They show a concealed network of windowless chambers. The rooms were equipped for sleeping and cooking, and with sanitary facilities.

Media in Amstetten

Elisabeth, now 42, is receiving medical and psychological treatment and her children are in care, police said. Her eldest daughter, Kerstin, is in hospital with a serious illness.

Hospital in Amstetten

The 19-year-old's admission to hospital a week ago sparked new interest in the whereabouts of Elisabeth and eventually led police to question her and arrest Mr Fritzl.

Local residents discuss the events in Amstetten

Among the neighbours, who police have said knew nothing, there is a sense of shock and disbelief. "You just can't imagine this happening here, in quiet Amstetten," one woman told the BBC.

An Austrian policeman looks at the house

It is the third case involving people being locked in cellars to come to attention in Austria in recent years. Two years ago a young woman, Natascha Kampusch, escaped after being held for eight years.

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