Police in Pakistan have launched a manhunt after around 30 women have been stabbed in the last month for leaving home after sunset.

It is unclear whether the attacks are being carried out by a lone assailant or a gang, but police have offered a Rs200,000 (£2,000) reward for any information that will lead them to the perpetrator.

According to the Express Tribune, police are trackling a criminal gang that has surfaced in Cheechawatni, in the Sahiwal district.

According to district police officer Syed Khurram Ali, gang members have been stabbing women for "leaving their houses after sunset".

Most women have been attacked in shopping areas. At least 25 cases have been reported this month and in most cases, the women had been accompanied by male family members while shopping and had been waiting in the parking areas for them to return.

The victims suffered from stab wounds to their shoulders, backs, arms and faces. Asim Nawaz, a doctor at a local hospital, said two to three women have been brought in every day with stab wounds.

Against Sharia law

One woman told the newspaper a masked man stopped her to ask her why she was out shopping unaccompanied. After ignoring him, she was stabbed in the shoulder.

Ali said the women had not been robbed and that other victims had told police their attacker had told them "it was against Sharia law for women to go shopping" and that they should not leave their homes.

According to Reuters, woman and girls in the district have been left afraid to leave their homes. It reports police are now looking for a lone assailant.

Haseeb-ul-Hassan, the spokesman for Sahiwal District, said: "Most of the incidents have happened after sunset, but some schoolgirls were also attacked while going back home after school.

"We cannot confirm the total number of incidents, but it's between 25 to 30."

Asim Waqar, a doctor at Chichawatni hospital, added: "Most of the women were stabbed after sunset, while two of them were wearing a burqa at the time they were attacked."