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Husband held for pregnant teen's murder

May 15, 2007 10:28 IST

The husband of a pregnant Pakistani teenager, found stabbed to death at her home in Bury in Greater Manchester, has been arrested on suspicion of her murder, British police have said.

The 24-year-old husband of Sana Ali, 17, was arrested by murder squad detectives along with a 16-year-old youth.

Sana and her unborn child both died following the attack at her home on Friday.

Sana, born in Pakistan, moved to the UK five years ago.

Detectives earlier said they had not ruled out the possibility that the murdered teenager had been the victim of an honour killing.

Sana who had been married for six months, had multiple knife wounds to her stomach, chest and arms when she was found dead in her home.

Police confirmed that several members of her family were being questioned over her death.

A police spokesman said: "We are investigating all possibilities and not ruling anything out."

Detectives were called to the six-bedroom detached home in Bury at around 4.15 pm on Friday. It is understood that Sana, who was two months pregnant, lived at the house with her 24-year-old husband, his younger brother and his parents.

At the time of the attack, her parents-in-law were abroad.

Detective Chief Inspector Keith Dillon, who is leading the inquiry, said Sana's sister-in-law called the emergency services after discovering the teenager with horrific injuries in an upstairs bedroom.

She was taken to Fairfield Hospital in Bury but suffered a heart attack in the ambulance and doctors were unable to save her or her unborn child.

A post-mortem examination found she died as a result of stab wounds to her chest and abdomen.

"This was a very violent attack," said Dillon. "It is clear that this woman was attacked with a sharp implement."

He said "We are interviewing the family to find out all the background. I am keeping an open mind on everything.

"We are treating this as a murder inquiry, but are keeping an open mind as to the motive as it is very early in the investigation."

The teenager is believed to have had an arranged marriage to her husband in December last year. Her in-laws are thought to run an electrical goods business in Manchester. Her family released her photograph through police.

The teenager had recently started a child care course at a local college, but left when she found herself pregnant.

The house, which is in an affluent suburb north of Bury, remained sealed off as forensic officers continued to comb the scene.

Police said there was no sign of a forced entry and nothing appeared to have been stolen.

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