Women shot dead over 'divorce'

Islamabad - Gunmen shot dead a mother and daughter in broad daylight in an upmarket neighbourhood of the Pakistani capital on Tuesday after the mother filed for divorce from her husband, police said.

Najma Bibi, 40, was returning by car from the Islamabad courts where she was seeking a divorce, when she was shot dead along with her 18-year-old daughter Sidra and a man Nazeer, 28, whose relationship to the two women was unclear.

"It is a matter of personal enmity. The woman was fighting a divorce case against her husband and we assume that he managed to kill them," said police investigator Jamshed Khan.

"We are yet to obtain further information about the gunmen. A witness told us they were speaking Punjabi but we don't have more details," he said.

While Pakistan suffers appalling statistics on crimes against women, such attacks in broad daylight in the wealthy capital are rare.

In the conservative Muslim countryside, women are often seen as the subjects of their men folk, to be defiled by their rivals, or killed to maintain their honour.

Almost 1 500 women were murdered in Pakistan in 2010, according to the Aurat Foundation, a local organisation working to protect women.

Another 500 were the victims of "honour killings", in which relatives and other fellow tribesmen kill a woman if they believe she had an affair.
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