'Honour killing' victim's parents re-arrested

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The Independent Online

The parents of suspected honour killing victim Shafilea Ahmed were re-arrested today over her murder.

The 17-year-old disappeared from her home in Warrington, Cheshire, in October 2003, sparking a major police search.

Her 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.

Sources have confirmed the couple were being held on suspicion of their daughter's murder.

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

Coroner for East and South Cumbria Ian Smith, who led the inquest into Shafilea's death, said she suffered a "vile murder".

The Muslim teenager had feared she was being forced into an arranged marriage by her mother and father.

A few months before she was killed, Shafilea had refused an arranged marriage, and, during a visit to Pakistan to meet a prospective husband, had drunk bleach.

Concluding the inquest, in January 2008, Mr Smith said: "Shafilea was the victim of a very vile murder.

"I believe she was taken from her home on the 11 of September (2003).

"I do not believe she ran away."

As well as her parents, five other relatives of Shafilea were arrested by detectives investigating her murder.

All were released without charge.

Taxi driver Mr Ahmed and his wife have vigorously denied any involvement in their daughter's death and said they planned to challenge the Coroner's verdict of unlawful killing.