Barber's eyes gouged; lips, tongue, nose and ears slit over illicit affair

A barber in rural Pakistan was recovering in hospital after being horrifically mutilated over a relationship with a married woman from an influential local family, police said Thursday.

Officers said Yousaf Khan, 32, was kidnapped by seven members of a landowning family who gouged his eyes with a sharp knife before slitting his ears, nose, lips and tongue.

The bloody incident took place on Tuesday in Mirzapur village in Okara district, around 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Lahore, the main city of Pakistan's central Punjab province.

"Yousaf Khan was blamed for an illicit relationship with a woman. We have arrested five culprits," Khaliq Riaz, a police officer involved in the investigation, told AFP by telephone.

Riaz said he hoped a man and a woman also involved in the grisly incident would soon be arrested.

"The family said they had several times warned Yousaf over the illicit relations and they were forced to take this extreme step to punish the barber," Riaz said, adding that the affair had apparently been going on between Khan and the 25-year-old woman for two years.

Sanaullah, an officer in the district police chief's office who goes by only one name, confirmed the incident and arrests.

Doctor Taimur Ahmed at Lahore's Mayo hospital said Khan was recovering and showing signs of improvement, but was badly mutilated by the attack.

His nose and lips were badly wounded, the doctor said, and he could barely see out of one eye.

Initial police reports indicated the attackers had gouged out Khan's eyes and cut off his ears, nose, lips and tongue.

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