A child serial killer who abducted, raped and murdered a six-year-old girl has been executed in Pakistan – in front of her grieving dad.
Imran Ali was hanged at a prison in the eastern city of Lahore today, as little Zainab Ansari’s heartbroken father, Amin Ansari, looked on.
The inmate – who took his final breaths at the city’s Kot Lakhpat prison – had been convicted of killing eight children including Zainab.
The youngster’s rape and murder in January sparked deadly protests in the country, with calls for her attacker to be publicly executed.
Ali, then 24, was arrested by police in Pakistan two weeks after he hurled Zainab’s body into a garbage dump in Kasur, Punjab province.
He was found guilty of killing the child, with detectives later claiming his DNA had linked him to the murders of other girls.
Chilling CCTV footage showed Zainab being led away by her killer.
The missing youngster, who disappeared while heading to Quranic studies, was later found dead by police in a pile of rubbish.
Ali was sentenced to death for her rape and murder in February following a trial – before being convicted of the other killings.
Zainab’s parents said he should be hanged and stoned in public.
However, the killer was executed at the prison earlier today after the country’s top court rejected a request for his public hanging.
He was hanged in front of a magistrate and a doctor, with Mr Ansari and other grief-stricken relatives also allowed to witness it.
Speaking afterwards, Zainab’s dad said he was “satisfied” and that he and his loved ones had got “justice”, the BBC reports.
“I’ve seen his awe-inspiring end with my own eyes,” he told reporters, adding that his daughter would have turned seven two months ago.
However, he expressed his regret that the hanging wasn’t televised.
Zainab’s uncle was also present at the prison, according to Dawn.com, while Ali’s brother was spotted arriving at the scene.
Anti-riot cops surrounded the building at the time of the execution, which was carried out in the early hours of the morning.
Ali – who had launched failed appeals against his conviction and sentence – is expected to be buried by his family later today.
Zainab’s body was discovered five days after she vanished.
Her brutal death shocked people across the country, and ignited deadly protests over allegations of government inaction.
Two people were killed during clashes which broke out after a mob attacking a police station and a government building.
Others suffered injuries in the violence.
Speaking earlier this year, police said they had matched DNA from eight girls’ bodies – including Zainab’s – with Ali.
They identified the killer as one of Zainab’s neighbours.
In a previous interview with Al Jazeera, the little girl’s mum said: “I want him hanged where he threw Zainab’s body.
“And he should be stoned. Hanging him is just ordinary for him.
“Everyone should take part in stoning him. And this thing about four hangings, one hanging, two hangings, what difference does it make?
“I want him hanged where he killed my girl.”
And speaking to reporters after Ali’s execution today, Mr Ansari said Zainab’s mother had been left “devastated from grief”.
CCTV footage, captured on the day the youngster was abducted, showed her walking off calmly with a bearded man.
She had been living with one of her aunts at the time, her family said, with her parents on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Police collected DNA samples from more than 1,000 people following the discovery of her body on January 9.