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Court intervenes as dead girl's parents still on the run



The manhunt for Sara Sharif's runaway father and stepmother continues but the dead UK girl's five siblings have been ordered into government custody by a Pakistan court.

In a dramatic raid yesterday, police recovered the five kids, aged one to 13, from Sara's grandfather's home in Jhelum, in the country's north-east.

Police in Pakistan have been searching for Sara's father Urfan Sharif, her stepmother Beinash Batool, uncle Faisal Malik and five siblings for the past month, as British detectives try to work out why Sara was found alone and dead in her family home.

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After hurriedly booking eight one-way flights out of London, Sharif called police in the UK after he landed in Islamabad to tell them Sara was dead.

The group of eight had successfully evaded police until yesterday, when officers smashed locks on a gate outside Sara's grandfather's house and went inside, seizing the five children and CCTV cameras.

Sharif, Batool and Malik weren't at the house and remain on the run.

A local court today ruled Sara's five siblings should be sent to a Pakistan government childcare facility temporarily.

The ruling did not state how long the children could be detained in the facility, or whether they will ultimately be sent back to England.

Photographs taken outside court showed relatives carrying children inside, flanked by armed police, after pulling up in vehicles with blacked-out windows.

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Police officers escort a relative and child of a couple who are wanted by British police in connection with the death of Sara Sharif, aged 10. Police officers escort a relative and child of a couple who are wanted by British police in connection with the death of Sara Sharif, aged 10.

Sara's grandfather Muhammad Sharif told the BBC yesterday how the five children had been staying at his home since 10 August.

He claimed he wasn't trying to hide the kids from authorities.

"I told Urfan and Beinash that they can go wherever they want to, but I will not let the children go with you," he said.

"Until today, no one had asked me about the children.

"They kept asking me about Urfan, Faisal and Beinash, no one asked me about the children."

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Sara's father Urfan Sharif, aged 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother Faisal Malik, 28, are wanted by police.

Muhammad Sharif had previously admitted Urfan had briefly visited his house after the group landed in Pakistan but had then gone to ground.

Police in Pakistan have detained several family members as the manhunt has ramped up.

Last week Sara's mum and grandmother told a Polish broadcaster they could hardly recognise her in a morgue because she was so badly bruised and injured.

A former neighbour, whose daughter went to school with Sara, said the 10-year-old had shown visible injuries shortly before she was removed from the school.

Sara Sharif's grandfather Muhammad Sharif

Surrey Police have confirmed they previously had contact with Sara's family, but would not divulge the reason.

There is no formal extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan.

UK police are working with international agencies, including Interpol, to progress their enquiries with Pakistani authorities.

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