Three held after Yorkshire woman '˜raped and murdered' in Pakistan

The father, ex-husband and uncle of a British woman raped and murdered in an alleged 'honour killing' have all been arrested, according to reports in Pakistan.

Samia Shahid, 28, from Bradford, was visiting family in July when she was found dead of what were initially assumed to be natural causes, and buried in a local cemetery in the village of Pandori in the country’s eastern Punjab province.

But a fresh inquiry was ordered after her husband Syed Mukhtar Kazam publicly accused her family of killing her because they opposed Mrs Shahid’s decision to divorce her first husband in 2014 and marry him.

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The police inquiry concluded that Mrs Shahid had been strangled and her first husband Choudhry Shakeel has been detained as the prime suspect.

Her father has also been detained by police, after his daughter was allegedly lured to Pakistan on the pretext he was seriously ill.

And her uncle, named as Haq Nawaz, is understood to have been held by police on suspicion of falsifying medical files, according to the BBC.

On Saturday Pakistani police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said a forensic examination confirmed the victim was raped before her death.

She also said a local police chief has been suspended for mishandling the case, and allowing Mrs Shahid’s mother and sister to flee the country. Investigators are seeking their return for questioning.

Mrs Shahid married her second husband in Leeds in September 2014 after she left her first husband, who was a cousin from Pakistan.

Mr Kazam said his wife moved to live with him in Dubai last year but had made trips to the UK to talk to her parents about the relationship and went to Pakistan on July 14 after being told her father was ill.

Mr Kazam said his wife had been healthy and he did not believe her family’s initial claims that she died naturally.

An estimated 1,000 women are killed every year by family members in so-called “honour killings” in Pakistan.