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Pakistani couple killed over marriage; girl burned alive after rejecting proposal

A 17-year-old girl and her husband were killed by her family for marrying without its consent, and another young woman was burned alive by a man for refusing his proposal in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province, police said Sunday.

Muafia Bibi and her husband Sajjad Ahmed, 30, were killed in Satrah village Friday night, allegedly by her parents, two uncles and her grandfather, said Asghar Ali, the area police chief.

He said the couple was hacked to death with a butcher's knife, and that all five suspects have been apprehended.

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Ali said the couple married on June 19, and that the family had lured them back home by saying it accepted the marriage. He said it was Ahmed's third marriage, with the first ending in divorce and his second wife leaving him after he married Bibi.

Elsewhere in Punjab, a man burned alive a young girl he wanted to marry after her family refused his proposal. Fayaz Aslam, 26, doused Sidra Shaukat in gasoline before setting the 20-year-old alight in a field, said Akhtar Saeed, a district police official.

Saeed said the girl was taken to hospital where she died overnight. He said Aslam was arrested for murder.

Marrying for love is a taboo among conservative Muslims in Pakistan, where hundreds of people are killed each year by their own relatives over alleged sexual indiscretions, which are believed to bring shame upon the family. The victims are usually women but in some cases couples are killed.

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