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Fears of serial child killer in infamous Pakistan city

Published: Updated:

The body of six-year-old Zainab Fatima Ameen was dumped here in the city of Kasur -- one of a dozen such young victims in recent years.

Her shocking death has sparked nationwide outrage and fears a serial murderer may be at work.

Nusrat Bibi, Zainab's mother, said "They must have told my daughter that they would take her to me, they must have said something like this for her to follow them... Otherwise she was very wise and obedient and she knew [not to talk to strangers]." (MORE).

Zainab was the 12th child to be assaulted and murdered in the Punjabi city in the past two years.

With DNA from a single source discovered in several cases, officials believe a long-term killer is targeting children.

Fareed Khan, doctor, Kasur district hospital , said “I could say seventy, eighty percent even ninety percent of these cases, they do tend to have the same kind of injuries inflicted to them. Strangulations, having burn marks, scaring and wrist cuts and definitely a type of a total physical abuse has to be there.

It was only in 2016 that Pakistan criminalised child abuse.

The city was also where a massive pedophilia ring was uncovered in 2015 and residents are demanding tougher action.

Ghulam Fareed, a resident, said "We lock our children inside the house and tell them to study here. We pick and drop our children at school ourselves. Should we earn our livelihood or keep an eye on them."

Zainab's murder has prompted much soul-searching in Pakistan… on how to protect its most vulnerable. Answers that can't come soon enough for the people here.