A bride and groom hold hands as they sit together during a mass marriage ceremony held in Karachi, Nov. 30, 2013.
Photo by Athar Hussain/Reuters

Man accused of killing 14 in Pakistan over marriage wrangle

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Pakistani man is suspected of killing his fiancé and nine of her relatives after the woman’s family appeared reluctant to give her permission to marry, police said on Monday.

The 25-year-old suspect, who police identified as Gul Ahmad Saeed, had been on the run since murdering his parents, brother and sister-in-law earlier this year when they obstructed the marriage.

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On Sunday, he returned to his town in northwest Pakistan and, with some accomplices, shot dead his fiance, her parents and seven of her siblings, after an uncle had raised his opposition to the marriage, police said.

“The uncle was being very indecisive about the wedding which infuriated Gul Ahmad,” said police officer Mohammad Jamil.

Police were searching for the suspects but they were believed to have fled into the semi-autonomous Pashtun tribal area along the Afghan border where government authorities hold little sway and police are not legally permitted to go.

The killings took place in a deeply conservative area where women there are often discouraged from going to school and have little choice when it comes to marriage. Pakistani women are often killed by men who feel their honor has been offended in some way.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 869 women were murdered in so-called honor killings in 2013, the last year for which data is available.