Pakistani police arrest three more over bludgeoning of woman

Pakistani police arrest three more over bludgeoning of woman

LAHORE, Pakistan - Pakistani police said Wednesday they have arrested three more men for the brutal murder of a woman bludgeoned to death outside a court by family members for marrying against their wishes.

Farzana Parveen was battered to death last week outside the High Court in the eastern city of Lahore by more than two dozen attackers armed with bricks, including numerous relatives.

"We have arrested two brothers of Farzana, Zahid Ali and Ghulam Ali, and her alleged former husband Mazhar Iqbal in this case," Chaudhry Shafiq, a senior police official, told AFP.

"They will be produced before a court tomorrow."

The killing sparked outrage because of its brazen and brutal nature and claims that police did nothing to save Parveen, who was three months' pregnant.

The United States branded the incident "heinous" and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanded immediate action to catch the killers.

With the latest arrests there are 13 in police custody including Parveen's father Mohammad Azeem.

He was detained at the scene of the attack, and a court last Saturday remanded him in custody for a further seven days.

Parveen's husband Mohammad Iqbal claims more than two dozen people were responsible for her killing.

Police said they would present a detailed report on the killing to the High Court on Thursday.

Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives in Pakistan each year on the grounds of defending family "honour".

But Pakistan's blood-money laws allow a victim's family to forgive the murderer, which makes prosecuting so-called "honour" cases difficult because the killer is usually a relative.

Mohammad Iqbal last week admitted he had strangled his first wife out of love for Parveen.

He was spared jail for his first wife's murder because his sons persuaded her family to pardon him under the blood-money laws.

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