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Three Arrested In Pakistan For Using Underage Girls As Brides


A police officer and a 6-year-old bride in Swat, in northwestern Pakistan, in a photo from a separate case from late October.
MORAGAI, Pakistan -- Three men have been arrested in a remote village in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in connection with the illegal marriages of two underage girls.

Police in Swat district told RFE/RL on October 30 that the three men, all residents of the village of Moragai, were arrested a day earlier.

They are suspected of facilitating the exchange of two girls -- aged 5 and 13 -- between their families to settle a domestic feud.

Two of the men married the girls.

Families in Pakistan still practice the tradition of "swara," or exchanging young girls as brides to settle disputes between clans and families.

The practice is officially banned in Pakistan, which says brides must be at least 16.

Arrests were made earlier this month of the bridegroom and family members in the case of a 6-year-old who was married off to a 16-year-old boy.
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