A 13-year-old girl has survived after she was raped and buried alive by two men in Pakistan.
The girl was able to dig herself out of a shallow roadside grave once she had been left for dead by her attackers, who believed their sexual assault had killed her.
The teenager had been on her way to Koran lessons in the Tobe Tek Singh district of Punjab province when she was abducted by the two men, according to reports from India’s PTI news agency.
They took her to a remote place, raped her until she passed out and then buried her. When she had regained consciousness she was able to dig her way to the surface and raise the alarm.
The girl's father then went to the police, but they reportedly refused to cooperate or launch an investigation.
The Lahore High Court Chief Justice's Complaint Cell has now intervened, ordering that the incident be looked into by a district judge and instructing police to arrest the alleged attackers and submit a report.
Pakistan has seen a recent focus on the issue of child rape after a series of high profiles incidents, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The government does not release regularly updated statistics on the extent of child sexual abuse across the country, but the activist group Sahil - based in Islamabad - said cases of child sexual abuse covered by the media grew from 668 in 2002 to 2,788 in 2012.
"We still think these statistics are just a fraction of what’s going on," said Manizeh Bano, the group’s executive director.