A woman in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunduz province has been arrested for allegedly aiding her son in killing his wife for giving birth to a girl.
Senior police officials said that the mother-in-law tied down the 22-year-old woman, known as Estorai, as her husband, Sher Mohammad, strangled her to death.
The incident took place on Saturday in the village of Mahfalay.
"The husband and mother-in-law strangled her for giving birth to a third daughter," local police chief, Sufi Habib, told the BBC.
Estorai had been warned by her husband that she would be killed for having a third daughter, according to the police report.
The mother-in-law, known as Wali Hazrata, is currently being held in police custody. Her son fled the region in an attempt to evade arrest.
Despite her arrest, Hazrata maintains that her daughter committed suicide by hanging herself, but police found no indication or visible wounds to support the claim.
Although most Afghan parents prefer to have boys because they grow up to become breadwinners in the traditional society, the incident is drastic even within the Afghan context and has resulted in an uproar of condemnation. Local religious leaders have condemned the killing as "inhumane" and called it a crime against Islam. Additionally, Nadira Gya, Director for Kunduz Women's affairs, said that the killing "was a brutal crime committed against an innocent woman."
Violence against women is highly prevalent in Afghanistan and this incident is just the latest in a slue of violent occurrences that have made headlines over the past few months, including the discovery of a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by her in-laws and the recent arrest of a rape victim for committing adultery.
Despite the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, passed in 2009 by the Karzai Administration, violence against women continues to be an endemic problem across the country's ethic and regional divides.
In June 2011 Afghanistan was rated as the worst place in the world to be a woman and later in the year Save the Children released an annual report stating that Afghanistan has become the worst place in the world to be a mother due to a high rate of maternal mortality combined with a low life-expectancy for women.