Pakistan hangs man for raping, murdering 6-year-old Zainab

The rapist Imran Ali was executed in the presence of Magistrate Adil Sarwar and the girl's father

"He was hanged this morning in the presence of a prison official and the father of the victim", an official at Lahore's central prison, where the convict was executed, told AFP.

Pakistan early on Wednesday hanged a man convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in January.

The DNA of Imran Ali, 24, was found on her body, and after confessing to killing Zainab and four seven-year-old girls, he was handed four separate death sentences. An ambulance also arrived at the spot, along with Ali's brother and two of his friends, Geo TV reported.

Zainab's father approached the Lahore High Court for the killer's public execution.

The convict was awarded a death sentence on 21 counts after he was convicted of the rape and murder of at least eight minor girls, including Zainab.

Zainab's death sparked outrage across Pakistan, with violence erupting in Kasur as thousands swarmed police stations and set fire to politicians' homes, while Pakistanis across the country took to social media demanding action. Violent protests in Kasur city following her murder claimed two lives.

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On February 10, the court handed over copies of the challan to the accused counsel in a hearing which was held in Kot Lakhpat jail and February 12 was fixed for framing of charges. The LHC rejected his appeal and upheld the trial court's conviction.

Contingents of police and anti-riot forces surrounded Kot Lakhpat jail at the time of Ali's hanging.

Zainab's father, Mohammed Amin Ansari, was allowed to witness the execution, and thanked the judiciary, government and investigators for delivering speedy justice.

However Mr Ansari, who said that Zainab would have been seven years and two months old if she was alive, expressed regret that authorities did not televise the hanging. "Her mother is devastated from grief".

Imran's DNA also matched the samples taken from seven other minor girls who were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur, police had confirmed.

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