A Pakistani man and some of his relatives chopped off his wife's feet after accusing her of being promiscuous, police said yesterday. The woman survived the gruesome attack, the latest in a wave of assaults that have raised international concern about the plight of women in rural Pakistan.

'It is a shameful act of cruelty against a woman,' said Talat Ali, a senior police official in Punjab.'

The 32-year-old woman told police her feet were chopped off on 24 June by her husband, her father-in-law, a brother-in-law and two others after they accused her of being 'of bad character', a euphemism for promiscuous.

Violence against women is common in rural Pakistan where tribal and feudal customs hold sway.