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Pakistan investigates barter of 7 girls to settle feud

QUETTA, Pakistan — Pakistan's top court has ordered authorities to probe the alleged barter of seven girls to settle a blood feud in a remote southwestern district.

Pakistan's Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry today began proceedings into the allegations, first reported in the local media.

The alleged trade happened in the Dera Bugti district of Baluchistan province.

The district deputy commissioner, Saeed Faisal, told the court that a tribal council had ordered the barter in early September. He did not know their ages but local media said they were between 4 and 13.

However, the Advocate General for the province could not confirm the incident.

The tradition of families exchanging unmarried girls to settle feuds is banned under Pakistani law but still practiced in the country's more conservative and tribal areas.