Girl, 16, Killed by Village Elders After Helping Friend Elope

'An extreme act of barbarism'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2016 3:54 PM CDT
Girl, 16, Killed by Village Elders After Helping Friend Elope
A Pakistani farmer harvests a wheat field on the outskirts of Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2012. A 16-year-old girl was killed in the area last week for helping a friend elope.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

A 16-year-old girl was brutally murdered by her village's elders for helping a friend elope last week in Pakistan, the Telegraph reports. A police officer says the village of Makol decided to end the practice of "love marriages," and—according to the Washington Post—the marriage was against the will of the bride's father. The 16-year-old, Ambreen, was taken from her home April 28, sedated, and choked—or possibly hanged—with her shawl, NBC News reports. She was then placed into the van the couple eloped in. "[The village elders] decided to punish the girl in a novel way so no one in future can dare to marry without consent of their parents," a police official says. "They tied her hands with the seats and then poured [gasoline] on her and the vehicle and set it on fire." It's unclear if the girl was still alive when the van was set on fire.

More than a dozen village elders were arrested in connection with the "honor killing," including the bride's father and Ambreen's mother. Ambreen's mother was later released when it was revealed the village elders threatened her entire family with burning if she didn't hand over Ambreen. The rest will be tried in an anti-terrorism court. "This is an extreme act of barbarism," the police official tells NBC. "I haven't seen such an inhuman incident in my career." It's unclear if the couple who eloped was punished in any way. More than 8,690 girls were killed in such honor killings between 2004 and 2015 in Pakistan. (More honor killings stories.)

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