A Pakistani man accused of killing his two teenage cousins after a video of the sisters surfaced on social media showing them kissing a man was arrested on Wednesday, a police official said.
The killings took place last week in North Waziristan, a former tribal area that previously served as a Taliban stronghold.
The video, filmed about a year ago, went viral last week and allegedly angered the sisters’ cousin, who accused them of damaging the family’s honor.
The arrest came following a five-day manhunt launched in the region to find and arrest Mohammad Aslam, who fled after allegedly killing the sisters last week, North Waziristan Police Chief Shafiullah Gandapur said.
Police had arrested the man seen in the video kissing the two sisters and he is suspected of posting the video on social media. Gandapur said the video angered the girls’ cousin, Aslam, who is now accused of killing the girls.
“We are also questioning the father and brother of the two girls to determine whether they played any role in the murder,” he said.
So-called honor killings are a significant issue in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are killed by close relatives each year because of actions perceived as contravening conservative norms on love and marriage.
The incidents have continued even though the Pakistani parliament in 2016 made legal changes to mandate a 25-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of an honor killing.
Kissing in Pakistan is illegal and couples engaging in such displays of affection are usually detained, only to be released after paying a requested sum of money to avoid charges.
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