Pakistani women shot in 'honour killings'

Women allegedly killed last year after singing at a wedding Five women were allegedly killed in June 2012 after footage showed them singing at a wedding

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Three women in north Pakistan have been shot dead by a male relative who seemed to have believed that they had brought shame on their family, police say.

A mother and her two daughters - one aged just 17 - were allegedly killed by her stepson.

He had apparently seen a family video in which the daughters were shown laughing in front of their family home.

The woman's stepson appears to have considered the footage an assault on the family's honour.

So-called honour killings are common in northern Pakistan where women are seldom seen by men other than their relatives.

The latest attack took place in Gilgit Baltistan after recordings of the women were circulated in recent months in the remote and mountainous area which is renowned for the conservative lifestyle of its inhabitants.

In the mobile phone footage - seen by the BBC - the young women are filmed smiling and laughing in the rain outside their family home, with some little girls.

An audio recording was also passed around, of a woman allegedly thanking an admirer for a gift.

The BBC's Orla Guerin in Islamabad says that five young women and two men were reported killed in the same region last year after footage emerged of them singing and dancing together at a wedding.

The killings were said to have been ordered by a tribal Jirga, or local council.

But locals denied anyone had been killed when Pakistan's Supreme Court send a fact-finding mission to the area,

Leading human rights campaigners however expressed fear that all those in the wedding video were dead.

Campaigners say more than 900 women were killed in Pakistan last year in the name of family honour.

In spite of reform in the law they say conviction rates are not encouraging and in most cases the killers escape justice.

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