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Pakistan arrests cleric over involvement in murder of model

Last Updated Oct 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm EST

FILE- In this June 28, 2016 file picture, Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch speaks during a press conference in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistani police say they have arrested defamed cleric, Mufti Mohammad Qawi, for alleged involvement in murder of Baloch who was found dead in her home in Multan In July 2016 weeks after she posted bold pictures of herself with the cleric on social media. (AP Photo/M. Jameel, File)

MULTAN, Pakistan – Pakistani police say they have arrested a Muslim cleric for alleged involvement in the 2016 murder of social media model Qandeel Baloch.

She was found strangled in her home in the city of Multan after posting racy pictures on Facebook of herself with the cleric, Mufti Abdul Qawi.

Baloch’s brother, Mohammed Wasim Azeem, has confessed to her murder. His trial is underway in a Multan court. Nearly 1,000 Pakistani women are killed by close relatives each year in so-called “honour killings,” for violating conservative norms on love and marriage.

A senior police officer, Mohammad Fahad, says the cleric was arrested as he tried to flee Multan. Some of his phone calls were traced to another brother of Baloch around the time of her killing.