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Pakistani Woman Dies After Former Lover Allegedly Set Her On Fire

| by Jared Keever
Front entrance of Nishtar hospitalFront entrance of Nishtar hospital

A Pakistani woman who was reportedly on fire for refusing to marry a suitor has died from her injuries. 

Sonia Bibi, 20, was attacked in October in a remote village of Punjab province’s Multan district, the Agence France-Presse reports.

She was admitted to Multan's Nishtar Hospital with burns on 40 to 50 percent her body, Dr. Naheed Chaudhry, the head of the hospital's burns department, told AFP.

She reportedly told police a former lover had doused her with gasoline and set her on fire after she turned down a marriage proposal. 

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Medical staff at the hospital had originally believed she would recover from the alleged attack, but a doctor told AFP that her injuries had become infected and she died the morning of Nov. 3.

An unnamed 24-year-old suspect in the attack has reportedly been arrested. 

Hundreds of women are murdered in Pakistan each year in so-called honor killings.

The Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organization in the country, estimates over 3,000 women have been killed in such attacks since 2008.

In June 2014, one such incident gained international attention, after Pakistani police said a newlywed couple were decapitated at the hands of the bride’s family because they had married without her family’s permission, CNN reported at the time.

Officials in Punjab province told CNN that Sajjad Ahmed, 26, and Muawia Bibi, 18, were married by a Pakistani court. Just over a week later, the woman’s father and her uncles reportedly lured the couple to a village where they were tied up and killed. 

Police said the family members later turned themselves in.

Sources:  AFP via Daily Telegraph, CNN / Photo credit: Nishtar Hospital Website, Daily Mail