Villagers in a remote area of north-west Pakistan are in shock after armed men forced a 16-year-old girl to walk half-naked through the village, claiming it was to redeem their family honour.
Local residents say the woman was targeted because of her brother’s long-forgotten secret affair with a woman from the assailants’ family.
The incident, which came to light on Thursday when the media got wind of it, took place last week near the remote town of Chaudhwan, some 80km (50 miles) west of Dera Ismail Khan city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Police have arrested eight men and are searching for a ninth.
Witnesses say the girl was attacked in broad daylight when she went to fetch water from a pond.
“I and my [female] cousins were returning after filling our pitchers when these men caught up with us,” she told local journalists.
“They shoved me around, and I fell down. Then they cut my clothes with scissors. One of my cousins tried to cover me with her dupatta [a long scarf], but they snatched it away.”
She tried to escape and ran into a nearby house, but they followed her.
“I ducked beside a cot and tried to hold on to it but they dragged me out. A neighbour tried to intervene but they threatened him with their guns.”