Prime suspect held in Zainab rape case

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He informed that Zainab's rape and murder was the eighth incident of similar nature that had taken place in Kasur since June 2015. His name is Imran.

"Ali lived on a street next to Zainab", a police official in Kasur told AFP. The accused was arrested when his DNA matched with the sample found from the victim's body, Geo News reported, citing the sources.

"Government officials constantly struggled", he said.

In the first week of January, the body of an eight-year-old girl was found from a trash dump. "I am most thankful to the forensic lab who profiled 1,150 DNAs to find the real killer". "He is a serial killer", Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced in a press conference at the CM Secretariat Lahore.

Acknowledging protests in the wake of Zainab's death, Sharif said: "I know that this situation was politicized".

"I requested them [officials] to not discuss it after the match was found. Allah b praised. With the prayers of Ami jee, parents of Zainab & whole nation we succeeded in resolving this heinous case..."

With the father of the deceased Zainab sitting by his side, the CM said that it was not easy to face this father who was robbed off his attractive daughter. ATC Judge Sheikh Sajjad will conduct the hearing today. The way Zainab, a flower, was crushed, the law should crush the killer in the same way, he added. "He [Imran] was traced due to joint efforts". "When I reached home, I appealed to the chief of army staff and chief justice of Pakistan".

On January 4, Zainab had gone missing after leaving her house on Kasur's Road Kot area for her maternal aunt's house a few minutes away for religious lessons.

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He is accused of raping and murdering seven other young girls over the course of two years.

Police sources confirmed suspect Imran Ali, a neighbour of Zainab, had confessed to his crime before an investigation team.

The Punjab chief minister also called Imran a "serial killer".

Imran was initially interrogated by the police and was, in fact, let go without a DNA test, as the victim's family had felt that the accused was innocent and could not have murdered the child.

Ali had disappeared from Kasur after the previous interrogation and stayed in Phoolnagr, Pakpatan, and other areas of Punjab before being arrested by the police.

"The beast has confessed to have committed the past such crimes", he said.

Additionally, sources claim that Imran had shaved his beard after the incident which helped him evade arrest till now as the CCTV footage showed a man sporting a beard.