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UK woman who died in Pakistan honour killing was raped

Samia Shahid
Samia Shahid

A British woman who died in an alleged "honour killing" in Pakistan was raped before she was murdered, police have said.

Samia Shahid, 28, from Bradford, was found dead in July of what were assumed to be natural causes, and buried in a local cemetery in the country's eastern Punjab province.

But a fresh inquiry was ordered after her husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam publicly accused her family of killing her because they opposed Mrs Shahid's decision to divorce her first husband in 2014 and marry him.

The police inquiry concluded that Mrs Shahid had been strangled and her first husband Choudhry Shakeel has been detained as the prime suspect.

On Saturday Pakistani police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said a forensic examination confirmed the victim was raped before her death.

She also said a local police chief has been suspended for mishandling the case, and allowing Mrs Shahid's mother and sister to flee the country. Investigators are seeking their return for questioning.

Mrs Shahid's second husband claims his wife's own family lured her back to Pakistan by telling her that her father was critically ill.

The father has been detained by police as well.

Mrs Shahid married her second husband in Leeds in September 2014 after she left her first husband, who was a cousin from Pakistan.

Mr Kazam said his wife moved to live with him in Dubai last year but had made trips to the UK to talk to her parents about the relationship and went to Pakistan on July 14.

Mr Kazam said his wife had been healthy and he did not believe her family's initial claims that she died naturally.

An estimated 1,000 women are killed every year by family members in so-called "honour killings" in Pakistan.