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Sara Sharif death: Relatives of father detained in Pakistan

Sara Sharif
Sara Sharif was found dead in her home in Woking last month

A number of relatives of the father of Sara Sharif have been detained for questioning by police in Pakistan.

Sara's father, Urfan Sharif, 41, and his partner Beinash Batool, 29, fled the UK after the 10-year-old was found dead at their home in Woking on 10 August.

Post-mortem tests found Sara sustained "multiple and extensive injuries".

A police spokesman in Jhelum said 10 close relatives had been detained but not arrested.

On Friday, Muhammad Sharif, Sara's grandfather, told the BBC he had sent a message to his son Urfan Sharif to surrender himself to police "two to three days ago".

BBC Pakistan correspondent Carrie Davies said he conveyed the message to his son through an intermediary.

"If they surrender to the police it will mean the end of the problems that have happened to us," Muhammad Sharif said.

He and his family have accused the police of harassing them, illegally detaining some members and raiding their homes. Muhammad Sharif has also accused the police of creating fake cases against them to add further pressure.

The police have denied this. Syed Khurram Ali, regional police chief in Punjab, said: "We are putting pressure on them and it is difficult for them to keep so many people hidden. We are closing on their relatives, questioning them."

Muhammad Sharif also previously told the BBC that Sara's death was an accident and three family members who left the UK for Pakistan would "ultimately" return to face police questioning.

Police in Pakistan often detain the close relatives of wanted suspects, however they are not kept in jail to avoid the intervention of a court.

In video footage on Wednesday, Sara's stepmother spoke publicly for the first time since the youngster was found dead.

Beinash Batool described Sara's death as "an incident" and said she and Sharif were willing to co-operate with UK authorities.

The couple left the UK with five children aged between one and 13.

Surrey Police are seeking information to help them gain a picture of Sara's life and have translated their appeal into Urdu.

Detectives are displaying posters in English and Urdu at the Surrey town's railway station and taxi ranks.

CORRECTION: This article was amended on 9 September to correct our reporting after the BBC was told Muhammad Sharif, the father of Urfan Sharif, was not among those detained.

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