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Pakistan preacher probed after child molested and killed

LAHORE, Pakistan: Pakistan police on Saturday launched an investigation against a prominent preacher after a 6-year-old boy was found strangled and dumped in a mosque after being sexually abused.

"We have apprehended up to seven people including local cleric Qari Saqib, who is prime suspect in this case," Ijaz Shafi Dogar, a senior police official in the eastern city of Lahore, told AFP.

Moeen Yasin's body was found in the grounds of a mosque in Lahore after he was reported missing by his father Friday.

"According to the post mortem report, the child was strangled to death after molestation," Dogar said.

Another local police official, Abu Bakar Siddique, confirmed the incident, adding that the investigation was currently focused on the preacher.

A crowd of around 200 people gathered near the child's home, demanding the arrest of the culprits and justice for the victim's family.

In November last year, a 6-year-old girl from the minority Hazara ethnic community was strangled and dumped near a garbage heap after rape attempts in the southwestern city of Quetta in Baluchistan province.

Sexual violence against children is common in Pakistan though authorities lack data because many families don't report such crimes because of the attached stigma.

 

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