ISLAMABAD, Pakistan September 1, 2008 (AP)
Pakistan opened an investigation Monday into the killings of five women who tried to choose their own husbands, after a provincial lawmaker defended their deaths as a “centuries-old tradition.”
The women, three of whom were teenagers, were shot, thrown into a ditch and buried alive more than a month ago in what authorities have said they suspect were “honor killings.” Authorities say they have arrested three relatives of the women in connection with their deaths.
It is considered an insult in some conservative regions of Pakistan for women to have affairs or marry without consent, and rights groups say hundreds are killed by male relatives every year.
The killings — which apparently occurred after the women defied tribal elders and asked a civil court to marry at least three of them……
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