A woman and her daughter were physically tortured and repeatedly gang-raped by 10 of their relatives at gunpoint in a shocking incident which took place in the Pakistani city of Muzaffargarh in Punjab province. Police are on the hunt for the perpetrators.

News about this heinous crime comes at a time when the country is witnessing massive protests over the recent rape and murder of a young girl named Zainab Ansari, with recommendations being made for the public hanging of those who are found guilty of raping minors.

In the latest incident, which took place on Tuesday night, 23 January, the mother and daughter were robbed by their own family members. When the victims tried to resist, they were physically and sexually abused by 10 of their relatives at gunpoint.

The daughter is thought to be 20 years old, but the age of the mother is still unclear.

"10 people, including Amir, Khizer, Asif, Kamran, Bilal and Imran, sexually abused me and my daughter in front of my aged parents," the mother told the police, according to local media reports. Although a formal complaint has been registered, the authorities are yet to make any arrests.

The mother's husband was out of town when the rape took place. Following the night-long ordeal, the two victims eventually managed to escape at dawn the next day and report the crime.

Many brutal cases of rape are being brought into the spotlight in Pakistan since news of Zainab's murder sent shockwaves across the country. Zainab's body was found in a heap of trash in the city of Kasur on 9 January, five days after she had gone missing.

A medical examination later found the victim was raped before being strangled to death. The exact age of Zainab is still unclear, with reports suggesting she was six to eight years old.

Zainab vigil
People light candles and earthen lamps during a candlelight vigil in Islamabad, Pakistan on 11 January, 2018 to condemn the rape and murder of Zainab Ansari REUTERS/FaisalMahmood