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Pakistan arrests man accused of killing his daughter in Italy


Lahore, Pakistan — A Pakistani man suspected of killing his 18-year-old daughter in Italy after she allegedly refused an arranged marriage has been arrested and questioned by investigators in the capital, Islamabad, a senior police official said on Friday.

Shabbir Abbas was arrested in his village in the eastern province of Punjab following a tip-off from Italian authorities and local police, official Anwar Saeed Kingra told The Associated Press.

Her daughter, Saman Abbas, was last seen in late April by neighbors near her family’s home in the farming town of Novellara, near the city of Reggio Emilia. Days later, video from Milan airport showed her parents, who allegedly pressured her to marry a man she had never met, boarding a flight to Pakistan.

Amir Shaheen, another senior Pakistani police investigator, said the woman’s father was wanted by Italian police for killing his daughter.

He declined to share any further details, saying the suspect was being held by the country’s Federal Investigation Agency, which was approached by Interpol to seek the man’s arrest and extradition to Italy. in connection with the woman’s murder.

No agency or Pakistani foreign ministry official was immediately available for comment, and it is unclear whether the country has an extradition treaty with Italy. Authorities said Italian police were looking for the man after he fled to Pakistan with his wife, who has not yet been arrested.

Italian authorities last week discovered a body in a shallow grave in an abandoned building near the family home. Italian media reported that it could take two months to confirm the identity of the remains.

Before her disappearance, the woman told her boyfriend in Italy, also of Pakistani origin, that her parents wanted to marry her off to an older man in their home country but she refused. After turning herself in to authorities, the woman was allowed to stay in a shelter but later returned home, reportedly after her family sent her text messages begging her to return, according to Italian reports at the time.

Italy has already arrested the woman’s uncle after his extradition from France.

Arranged marriages are the norm among many conservative Pakistanis, and hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings perpetrated by husbands or relatives as punishment for alleged adultery or other sexual behavior illicit.

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Associated Press writer Barry reported from Milan, Italy.

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