Page last updated at 09:26 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 10:26 UK

Sackings over Afghan 'child rape'

Saripul map

The police chief of the northern Afghan province of Saripul has been dismissed over the handling of an alleged gang-rape of a 12-year-old girl.

An interior ministry official told the BBC that police chief Abdul Khaliq Samimy and four other security officials were sacked for negligence.

He said President Hamid Karzai had personally ordered the sackings.

The girl's parents met Mr Karzai last week and told him the police had refused to investigate the case.

The meeting took place when the family travelled to Kabul to publicise what had happened.

The girl told journalists that five gunmen had raped her in the village of Baghabi.

The girl's uncle is reported as saying that police refused to investigate the case and had told the family not to talk about the matter.

An interior ministry official, who would not be named, told the BBC the security officials "have been dismissed for their negligence and failures in their jobs. The ministry of interior will not tolerate any such incidents at any level.''

Correspondents say that in many areas of northern Afghanistan victims of rape have little chance of getting justice.

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