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Pakistani Cleric Arrested In Social-Media Star Murder Case


FILE: Late Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch.

Pakistani police say they have arrested a Muslim cleric for alleged involvement in the murder of social media model Qandeel Baloch.

Baloch was found strangled last year in her home in the central city of Multan after posting piquant pictures on Facebook of herself with the cleric, Mufti Abdul Qawi.

Her brother, Muhammad Waseem, has confessed to her murder. His trial is under way in a Multan court.

Pakistani cleric Mufti Abdul Qawi waits for his turn before his case hearing in the murder of a social media star Qandeel Baloch in Multan on October 18.
Pakistani cleric Mufti Abdul Qawi waits for his turn before his case hearing in the murder of a social media star Qandeel Baloch in Multan on October 18.

A senior police officer, Muhammad Fahad, says the cleric was arrested as he tried to flee Multan. Some of his phone calls were traced to another brother of Baloch around the time of her killing.

Baloch's slaying is among Pakistan's recent cases of so-called honor killings, a practice that is blamed for hundreds of young women's deaths every year in the predominantly Muslim country.

In October 2016, Pakistani lawmakers passed a law that increased the penalty for such killings, and closed a loophole that often allowed convicted killers to go free.

With reporting by Dawn and AFP

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