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Parents quizzed on 'honour killing'

The parents of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed have been questioned by detectives investigating her murder.

The Muslim teenager disappeared from her home in Warrington, Cheshire, in 2003 amid fears that she was being forced into an arranged marriage.

The 17-year-old's decomposed remains were discovered in Cumbria five months later.

Shafilea's father, Iftikhar, and mother, Faranza, were initially arrested on suspicion of kidnapping but the Crown Prosecution Service later concluded there was insufficient evidence and they were released without charge.

Police sources confirmed the couple were re-arrested on Thursday and were being held on suspicion of the murder of their daughter. They have always denied any involvement in her death and said they would never have forced her into a marriage she did not want.

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police said: "A 50-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were arrested ... on suspicion of the murder of Shafilea Ahmed."

During a trip to Pakistan to meet a prospective husband, Shafilea had refused an arranged marriage and had drunk bleach. She was last seen alive a few months later, doing her homework at home on September 11 2003, her inquest was told.

The Bradford-born teenager, who hoped to become a solicitor, was reported missing a week after her disappearance by a former school teacher. Mr Ahmed said he did not report her missing because police dismissed his previous reports that she had disappeared in November 2002 and January 2003. Shafilea also ran away for 10 days in February 2003.

In his inquest evidence, Mr Ahmed told the hearing that such an arrangement needed the consent of the boy and girl. He said he accepted his daughter's reply of "no way" when a potential suitor was mentioned.

Shafilea's body was discovered after heavy floods washed away the dense undergrowth where it was hidden on the banks of the River Kent at Sedgwick, Cumbria, in February 2004. Coroner for East and South Cumbria, Ian Smith, who conducted the inquest in January 2008, concluded she suffered a "vile murder".


From Belfast Telegraph