01/24/2018, 09.32
PAKISTAN

Alleged murderer of little Zainab arrested

The suspect is 24 years old Imran Ali. For the investigators, he may be a neighbor. The police collect 1150 DNA samples. Comparative investigations are under way with the traces found on the small seven-year-old body.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - The Pakistani authorities have arrested a man suspected of raping, strangling to death and throwing the little body of 7 year old Zainab in a landfill in Kasur (near Lahore). Yesterday Punjab chef minister Shahbaz Sharif, announced the name of the alleged serial killer: He is 24 year old Imran Ali. According to the provincial authority, the young man confessed and samples of his DNA were collected from the crime scene. Ali has not issued any statement.

Zulfiqar Hameed, a regional police officer, reports that the suspect is a neighbor. For the Pakistani broadcaster Geo News, the man is a relative, but Zainab’s father Amain Ansari, has denied this.

The brutal murder led to a wave of protests in Pakistan against police inaction - which delayed launching a search for the child despite being aware of her disappearance - and in support of the little girl's family. Two people were killed in the clashes with the agents.

In recent weeks, the police launched a manhunt to identify the culprit. After the Zainab case, it was discovered that the city of Kasur is home to child abuse in the country, with 12 cases of rape and murder of girls between 5 and 8 years of age in 2017. Last year there were 1764 cases of child abuse across the country. In 2016 the total number of abuse was 4139, with 11 new cases registered every day.

Sharif has stated that the investigators have collected 1150 DNA samples and are comparing them with the traces found on the child's body. In this way they hope to identify with certainty the man seen in video footage taking the child by the hand, while they walk together on the street. Last week, the police killed another alleged perpetrator and is investigating a third party known only as Mudasir.

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