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A woman was gunned down in Kohat's Astarzai area last Monday allegedly by a relative who objected to her working outside the home, police said.

Her relatives attempted to keep the incident hidden, a family member told DawnNews, but a First Information Report was lodged after reports of the murder began circulating on social media.

District Police Officer (DPO) Kohat Javed Iqbal said the woman, Hina Shahnawaz, had been shot four times allegedly by her cousin Mehboob Alam, who did not approve of her working.

Shahnawaz had been working at a non-governmental organisation in Islamabad and was earning Rs80,000 a month, which she used to support her widowed mother and sister-in-law after her father and brother passed away, the DPO said.

Alam fled after allegedly killing his cousin, DPO Iqbal said, adding that the police are conducting a search operation in the area to find him.

Pakistan, home to roughly 190 million people, sees thousands of cases of violence against women every year, from rape and acid attacks to sexual assault, kidnappings and so-called "honour killings".

Domestic abuse, and other violence and economic discrimination make Pakistan the world's third-most-dangerous country for women, a 2011 Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll showed.