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Man Suspected of Killing Girls Over a Kiss Is Arrested

Police investigating whether victims' relatives were involved
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2020 7:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – The man accused of carrying out the honor killings of two of his female cousins in Pakistan over a video of them being kissed is now in custody following a five-day manhunt. Muhammad Aslam has been arrested on charges that he shot the women, ages 18 and 16, last week in the village of Shamplan, North Waziristan. A district police chief tells the AP that Aslam was angered by the video that spread online in recent weeks. The 52-second clip showing three veiled women in the company of 28-year-old Umer Ayaz, who kisses two of them, "came as a shock" in the Waziristan region, where tribal codes "mean that the mixing of the sexes is unheard of," reports the BBC. The AP notes kissing in public is illegal in Pakistan. The third woman in the video is believed to be Aslam's wife, who is now in hiding.

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Ayaz—believed to be married with two children—and the man whose phone was used to make the video are also in police custody along with one victim's father and the other victim's brother. They failed to report the killings and concealed evidence, according to the police force established only two years ago to combat tribal law. "We are also questioning the father and brother of the two girls to determine whether they played any role in the murder," says a local police chief. The bodies have yet to be found. They were reportedly taken by family members to the neighboring South Waziristan region and buried. Investigators are searching for the graves. (Read more honor killings stories.)

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