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Controversial Pakistani model 'strangled by brother'

Controversial Pakistani fashion model Qandeel Baloch has been strangled by her brother, police said.

Ms Baloch's parents told police one of her six brothers killed her as she slept in the family home in Multan, a city in the Punjab province. A search for the suspect is currently ongoing.

Ms Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was an internet celebrity who had offended many conservatives by posting pictures of herself with Mufti Qavi, a prominent cleric.

She claimed they had enjoyed soft drinks and cigarettes together during the daylight hours in the holy month of Ramadan, when practising Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

The pictures and allegations caused a scandal in conservative Pakistan, and the government removed Mr Qavi from the official moon-sighting committee which determines when Ramadan starts and ends in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar.

Ms Baloch had said Mr Qavi told her he wanted to see her face before the committee met to determine the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, which was observed earlier this month.

Mr Qavi denied the allegations, saying he had only met her to discuss the teachings of Islam.

Earlier this month, Ms Baloch sought protection from the government, saying she was receiving anonymous death threats.

Hundreds of Pakistani women are murdered by family members each year in so-called honour killings, which are seen as punishment for violating conservative norms.

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