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World Briefing / PAKISTAN

Women's slayings to be investigated

September 02, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Pakistan opened an investigation into the killings of five women who tried to choose their own husbands after a Baluchistan province lawmaker defended what he called "centuries-old traditions."

The women, three of whom were teens, were shot, thrown into a ditch and buried alive more than a month ago. Authorities say they have arrested three relatives of the women.

It is considered an insult in some conservative regions of Pakistan for women to have affairs or to marry without consent, and rights groups say hundreds are killed by male relatives every year.

Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents the province where the women died, spurred protests when he said Saturday, "These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them."

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