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Pakistani Tribal Council Arrested For Ordering Teen Girl To Be Burned Alive

Pakistani police escort blindfolded suspects accused of killing and setting fire to a woman as they appear at a court in Abbottabad on May 5.

Pakistani police have arrested 15 members of a tribal council accused of ordering the burning alive of a young girl for helping a couple to elope.

Saeed Wazir, the police chief in Abbottabad district, about 70 kilometers northeast of Islamabad, said on May 5 that the 16-year-old girl was set on fire last week in the small mountainous town of Donga Gali. He added the so-called honor killing was ordered by the tribal council.

Wazir said the tribal council ordered the punishment for what it deemed to be irreparable damage to the village's reputation.

The couple appeared to have escaped from the area.

Authorities said the girl's mother and brother were among those arrested because they were present during the tribal council's meeting and allegedly agreed to its sentence.

Tribal council often are called in Pakistan's northwest regions as a way to resolve local conflicts.

But their edicts have no legal authority under Pakistani law.

Based on reporting by Reuters and