News ID: 209959
Published: 0607 GMT February 13, 2018

Trial of suspect in serial child killings begins in Pakistan's Lahore

Trial of suspect in serial child killings begins in Pakistan's Lahore

The trial of a suspect accused of brutally killing several Pakistani children has started at a high-security prison in the eastern city of Lahore, a public prosecutor says.

Prosecutor Abdul Raud said on Tuesday that the trial of the alleged serial killer, Mohammad Imran, will be completed in a week.The trial is closed to the public and held at a prison due for security reasons

Imran was detained on January 23 after the rape and murder of 7-year-old girl Zainab Ansari in the city of Kasur of Punjab Province.

Police say Imran has confessed to the killings and throwing Ansari's body in a garbage dump

Zainab was taken from near her home in Kasur on January 4 while her parents were on a pilgrimage. Her uncle reported her missing the next day.

Zainab's family said police did not respond after they reported their daughter's disappearance.

Zainab’s brutalized corpse was found in a trash pile about 100 meters from the family home five days after her disappearance.  

An autopsy confirmed that Zainab was strangled and sodomized. There were torture marks on her face and Zainab's tongue was crushed between her teeth.

Television stations had repeatedly broadcast chilling CCTV footage purportedly showing the young girl walking hand-in-hand with an unidentified male in what may have been her last moments.

The killing drew condemnation and brought to light seven other abductions and slayings he is suspected of.

Many Pakistanis have demanded a public execution for Imran.

The brutal sparked fury across Pakistan with two people killed in riots in Kasur on January 10.

Kasur was previously at the center of a child sexual abuse scandal in which a gang of over two dozen men was accused of blackmailing scores of children into making sex videos between 2009 and 2014.

At least 280 children were sexually abused on camera by men who later blackmailed their families, threatening to leak the footage.

The abuse was uncovered in 2015 and multiple suspects were arrested.

According to Sahil, an aid group that works on child protection issues, there were 129 cases recorded in Kasur, including rape and murder from January to June 2017.

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