LAHORE: An 18-year-old girl has survived being shot and thrown into a canal by her family for marrying the man she loved, police said, weeks after the “honour killing” of another woman drew worldwide condemnation.

Ali Akbar, a police official, said Saba Maqsood had been attacked and shot at allegedly by her father, uncle, brother and aunt and thrown into the waterway in Hafizabad town in Punjab.

“It is an honour-related incident,” Mr Akbar said.

“The victim, Saba...married her neighbour Mohammad Qaiser for love five days ago against the wishes of her family. They took her to Hafizabad, shot her twice and threw her in the canal after putting her in a sack, presuming that she was dead.”

Mr Akbar said the girl had been wounded in her cheek and right hand. Her relatives fled the scene, and after minutes in the water she regained consciousness and managed to struggle to the bank, where two passers-by helped her.

“She is a brave girl. She came out of the canal and approached a nearby fuel station from where a rescue team rushed her to hospital,” he said.

Last month, Farzana Iqbal was attacked and killed in broad daylight outside a court in Lahore by suspected family members because she had married the man she loved. The case drew intense global attention, including condemnation from the United Nations.

Police official Akbar said he had recorded a statement from Saba Maqsood in which she blamed her family for the attack.

“I was tortured and shot by my father Maqsood Ahmad, brother Faisal Maqsood, uncle Ashfaq Ahmad and his wife Sajida Bibi,” he quoted her as saying.

The official added: “Her condition is out of danger and we have registered a case against her family on her complaint.”

Police raided her father’s home in Gujranwala but all the suspects had disappeared, he said.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2014

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