Woman in Pakistan 'kills 17 in botched plot to poison husband'

Aasia Bibi, 21, has been charged with murder after allegedly poisoning milk. Credit: APTV

A newly-married woman in Pakistan has been arrested on murder charges after an alleged attempt to kill her husband with poisoned milk left 17 other people dead.

Police claim Aasia Bibi, 21, gave her husband the deadly substance but he didn't drink it.

Instead, Bibi's mother-in-law unwittingly used the poisoned milk to make lassi, a traditional yoghurt drink, for her extended family.

After being served the lassi last Thursday, 27 people fell unconscious and were rushed to hospital, 17 of whom have now died while others are still being treated.

A number of Bibi's in-laws are still being treated in hospital. Credit: APTN

Bibi was forced to marry a man chosen by her family in September but she already had a boyfriend, identified only as Shahid.

Police believe Bibi's boyfriend gave her the poison, but officers are still trying to discover if the plot was her idea or her boyfriend's. They say Shahid has confessed to supplying a poisonous substance.

Malik Owais Ahmed, District Police Officer, said: "When police established the suspicion that this is not a case of using contaminated lassi but it is a case of homicide and a case of intentional murder then police arrested her and her lover."

A large pot used to make lassi. Credit: APTN

Police say it was Bibi herself who mixed the milk into the yogurt pot, despite knowing it was poisoned.

Mr Ahmed said: "This man Shahid was her lover and she wanted to marry him, he brought poison, a substance used for killing rats, and gave it to her.

"She gave that poison to her husband by mixing it in milk which Amjad (her husband) did not drink and knowing that it contains poison, she mixed it in the lassi pot."

Bibi appeared before a judge on Tuesday, where she told reporters she was angry about her parents' decision to marry her to a man against her will.

She said her love affair with her boyfriend continued after she got married and that she had warned her parents that she would do anything to get out of her marriage, but they refused to allow her to get a divorce.

Bibi said: "He (Shahid) asked me to mix it in something and give it to him, and Shahid said he will marry me."

Bibi's boyfriend wears a shroud to hide his identity. Credit: APTN