The number of child porn internet sites on the web has quadrupled in the last three years. That's what the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has said in a new report.

Apparently, 29 per cent of these websites exposed during 2006 contained images depicting kids being raped, with many also suffering other sickening sexual tortures such as bestiality and sadism. This figure was as low as 7 per cent just three years prior in 2003.

The IWF has also reported that the number of illegal child images being reported to them has shot up by 34 per cent, with 34,000 cases being presented throughout last year.

The disturbing figures speak for themselves: the IWF discovered 10,656 pages on the web across 3,077 internet sites which stored highly illegal child sex images. Sixty per cent of these pages now have child rape images available for sale.

Worst offenders

Over 80 per cent of children in these images are female, and 90 per cent of them were under 12 years old. Over 80 per cent of these depraved websites are hosted in the US and Russia.

Peter Robbins, IWF chief executive said: "Sadly, we have to report new trends regarding the young age of the child victims in the images we assess and the dreadful severity of abuse they are suffering.

"The UK has virtually eradicated the hosting of potentially illegal online child abuse content within its virtual borders."