SAN’A, Yemen — A 13-year-old Yemeni girl has died of injuries to her genitals four days after a family-arranged marriage, a human rights group said.

The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has drawn the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages. Legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry is in serious peril after strong opposition from some of Yemen’s most influential Islamic leaders.

The 13-year-old girl from Hajja province, northwest of the capital, died on April 2, four days after her marriage to a 23-year-old man, said Majed al-Madhaji, a spokesman for the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights. Authorities detained the husband.

The Yemeni rights group said the girl was married off in an agreement between two men to marry each other’s sisters to avoid having to pay expensive bride-prices.

More than a quarter of Yemen’s females marry before age 15, according to a report last year by the Social Affairs Ministry. Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife.

Last month, a group of the country’s highest Islamic authorities declared those supporting a ban on child marriages to be apostates.

A February 2009 law set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but it was repealed and sent back to parliament’s constitutional committee for review after some lawmakers called it un-Islamic.