Privas, France -A 32-year-old man has admitted to five sex attacks in a popular holiday area of central France including one on an 11-year-old girl, prosecutors said on Saturday.

Campsites in the Ardeche region had been told to step up security following Wednesday's attack on the girl that has been linked to a string of similar assaults at campsites in recent weeks.

“He has admitted to being the attacker”, deputy prosecutor Franck Alzingre told a news conference.

“He also spontaneously admitted to committing similar acts in July in camping sites in the Ardeche,” said the prosecutor at Privas, the capital of the region.

His DNA and a “distinguishing feature,” had helped in tracking him down and led to his arrest on Friday, Alzingre said.

The girl was attacked by a man in the early hours of Wednesday as she slept in a tent alongside her younger sister on a campsite at Saint-Didier-sous-Aubenas in the south of the Ardeche.

Police had earlier said that as many as seven girls between the ages of seven and 12, one of whom was Dutch, had been attacked in the area in the past six weeks.

The Ardeche is one of France's best-preserved wilderness areas and its river gorges and rich flora and fauna draw campers from all over Europe. - Sapa-AFP