Pakistan bride charged over ‘poisoned milk’ killings


A file picture showing glbades of lbadi, a yoghurt drink popular in South AsiaImage copyright
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Police say the poisoned milk was turned into lbadi, a yoghurt drink popular in South Asia

A newlywed woman in Pakistan has been arrested on suspicion of killing her husband and at least 14 of his relatives with poisoned milk.

Police claim Asiya Bibi had intended the deadly substance for her husband, and mixed it with his milk last week – but he failed to drink it.

Instead it was turned into a batch of lbadi, a yogurt drink, and served to his extended family.

Police said the woman had been forced into an arranged marriage in September.

Such weddings are not uncommon in poorer and more rural areas of Pakistan, and are often pushed through by family members.

In this case, which took place in central Muzaffargarh, local media say the bride had tried unsuccessfully to flee her marital home and return to her parents.

Senior police official Owais Ahmad confirmed that Asiya Bibi had been charged with murder. A man alleged to be her lover, and his aunt, have also been arrested.

Muzaffargarh police told BBC Urdu 15 people had died, while a further eight were in hospital in the nearby city of Multan.

The death toll has been rising since last Thursday, when the tainted drinks were first served and eight people initially died.

District Police Officer Muzaffargarh Awais Ahmad Malik said the kind of poison used would only be clear after chemical tests on the victims.

He added that all those arrested had been charged under anti-terror law.

“We include this clause primarily to deter the local people from committing such crimes,” Mr Malik said.

“Such clauses are usually struck out by the courts later on.”

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