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Protests Over Gang Rape Continue In Pakistan

Hundreds of women took to streets across Pakistan on September 12, protesting the gang rape of a woman in front of her two children near the eastern city of Lahore late on September 9.

Protests were held in several Pakistani cities for a second day on September 12 over the alleged gang rape of a mother in front of her children, as police said they were launching a manhunt for the suspects.

In the incident near the eastern city of Lahore on September 9 night, two armed men allegedly gang raped the woman after her car ran out of fuel on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway.

Inam Ghani, Inspector General of Punjab Province, where the incident took place, told reporters on September 12 that police had identified the two suspects through DNA tracing.

"I am hopeful very soon we will reach them and arrest them," he said.

But the protesters are calling for the sacking of the lead police investigator assigned to the case, Omar Sheikh, who has said that it was the woman's fault for leaving the house at night and driving along a deserted road, instead of an alternative route.

Outrage In Pakistan Over Alleged Gang Rape
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He also said she appeared to be under the impression Pakistan was as safe for women as France, "her country of residence."

In Islamabad, several hundred protesters gathered while some held signs saying "hang the rapists."

Hundreds, mostly women, also gathered in Lahore, Karachi, and even the conservative northwestern city of Peshawar.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said on September 10 that the “horrifying” gang rape of a woman is "a grim reminder that Pakistan has become an increasingly dangerous place for women."

Gang rape is relatively rare in Pakistan, although sexual harassment and violence against women is not uncommon.

Hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan in so-called honor killings for violating conservative Pakistani traditions on love, marriage, and public behavior.

Rights groups have said that Pakistan has not done enough to stem violence against women.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa
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