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Father of Gaza woman who burned to death suspects murder

Feb. 22, 2013 4:14 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 23, 2013 8:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The father of a 19-year-old woman who died with severe burns in a refugee camp in northern Gaza wants an autopsy into the cause of her death.

Abu Taleb Kassab, from Jabalia camp, told Ma'an he did not believe his daughter set fire to herself.

Early Tuesday morning, the body of Kasseb's daughter was brought to the Kamal Udwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya. Police spokesman Ayman al-Batneiji said an initial medical examination showed burns all over her body but said her husband was not suspected of setting fire to her.

Kasseb said his daughter had been brought to the same hospital hours before she died after she was beaten by her husband's family. He says he was not informed of his daughter's death for six hours.

"After I saw my daughter in the hospital and based on what I was told by those who washed her body to prepare her for burial, her tongue was outside and she looked like she was hit on the head and that led to her death, and then she was burned to hide the signs of murder."

He disputed suggestions his daughter had burned herself, noting that she did not have burns all over her body, and said he wanted his daughter to be exhumed for an autopsy.

Kasseb's daughter had been married for nearly two years and had a six-month-old baby. He said she "was suffering some problems like most newly-married girls."

Police are investigating the case.

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