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Sara Sharif: Three relatives arrested on suspicion of murder

The father of Sara Sharif, his partner and his brother have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the 10-year-old’s death, Surrey Police said.

In a statement, Surrey Police Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman said three people were arrested on suspicion of murder after disembarking from a flight from Dubai at Gatwick Airport on Wednesday evening.

Sara, 10, was found dead at her home in Woking after officers were called from Pakistan by her father about 2.50am on August 10.

A post-mortem examination found she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.

Det Supt Chapman said the suspects were being held in custody and would be interviewed in due course.

“Sara’s mother has been informed of this latest update and is being supported by specialist officers. Our thoughts remain with her and those affected by Sara’s death at this very difficult time.

“This has been an extremely fast-moving, challenging and complex enquiry and we remain absolutely committed to conducting a thorough investigation into Sara’s death.

“We will not be commenting any further at this point and will provide further updates as and when we are able to.”

Urfan Sharif, stepmother Beinash Batool and uncle Faisal Malik had been the subject of an international manhunt.

Sara Sharif’s father Urfan Sharif, stepmother Beinash Batool and uncle Faisal Malik (Surrey Police/AFP via Getty Images)
Sara Sharif’s father Urfan Sharif, stepmother Beinash Batool and uncle Faisal Malik (Surrey Police/AFP via Getty Images)

The three had flown to Pakistan from the UK a day before her body was discovered.

Police in Pakistan said the three travelled of their own free will, according to the BBC.

Surrey Police had also been working to secure the safe return of Sara’s five siblings from Pakistan after a court ruled the children would be temporarily moved to a government childcare facility. All five children travelled with the three adults to Pakistan on August 9.

The force said it had been working with Surrey County Council and international authorities after the Pakistani court made the ruling.

It remains unclear where the children will ultimately be sent or for how long they may be kept in the facility.

The group of children were found by police on Monday evening at the home of Sara’s grandfather, Muhammad Sharif, in the northeastern city of Jhelum.

Sara Sharif was found dead at her home in Woking on August 10 (PA Media)
Sara Sharif was found dead at her home in Woking on August 10 (PA Media)

Last week, Ms Batool spoke publicly for the first time since the little girl was found dead.

In a clip of the footage posted online by Sky, Ms Batool described Sara’s death as “an incident” and said she and her husband were willing to co-operate with UK authorities over the case.

Sara’s mother Olga Sharif gave an interview to the Polish television programme Uwaga! in which she spoke of the harrowing experience of going to view her daughter’s body.

She said: “One of her cheeks was swollen and the other side was bruised.

“Even now, when I close my eyes I can see what my baby looked like.”