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Muslim cleric held over selfie star's murder

Sky News logo Sky News 19/10/2017
Qandeel Baloch, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem, was strangled in her family home © Getty Qandeel Baloch, whose real name is Fauzia Azeem, was strangled in her family home

Pakistani police say a Muslim cleric has been arrested over the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch. 

Ms Baloch, whose real name was Fauzia Azeem, was found strangled in her home in the city of Multan last year after posting racy images of herself on Facebook.

Her brother, Muhammad Waseem, has confessed to strangling her after giving her a "tablet" to subdue her.

Qandeel Baloch's brother Waseem is escorted by police © Getty Qandeel Baloch's brother Waseem is escorted by police

A senior police officer, Mohammad Fahad, said the cleric - Mufti Abdul Qavi - was arrested as he tried to leave Multan.

Some of his phone calls were traced to another brother of Ms Baloch around the time of her killing, police said.

Prosecutors have been urging the court to indict Qavi, who appeared in a video with Ms Baloch in which she claimed they smoked cigarettes and drank soft drinks during daylight hours in Ramadan, when practising Muslims fast.

He was sacked from his position on a government committee and rebuked by a religious affairs council.

Ms Baloch later called Qavi a "blot on the name of Islam" and accused him of inappropriate behaviour.

She said: "I thought I would expose him as he is in reality. He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him."

Ms Baloch became famous in Pakistan in 2014 after video of her pouting into a camera and asking "how em looking?" went viral.

In March last year, she offered to strip for the Pakistan cricket team if they beat India during a World T20 match.

She was also reported to be about to appear in a series of Big Boss, India's version of Big Brother, and appeared twerking in a music video with singer Aryan Khan.

Her murder reignited calls for action against so-called "honour killings" - in which a victim is killed by a close relative who can subsequently be pardoned by another family member under Pakistan law.

Waseem, his cousin Nawaz and taxi driver Abdul Basit were indicted over Ms Baloch's killing in December. Waseem has pleaded not guilty, despite his earlier statements.

The trial has yet to begin.

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