- 24-year-old Imran Ali has been convicted in the Zainab Ansari case
- His DNA matched with that found on 8 murdered girls, including Zainab
- He has been given death sentence on 4 counts and life imprisonment
Zainab Ansari's murder ignited nationwide protests over allegations of government inaction, and a media campaign led to his arrest after years of him being on the loose.
Police found Zainab Ansari's body in a garbage dumpster in Kasur district near the eastern city of Lahore in mid-January, four days after she was reported missing.
Residents of the area have said the murder was the 12th such incident in a year. Police investigators said later that they had matched DNA from eight girls' bodies, including Zainab's, with the convicted killer, Imran Ali, 24.
"The court handed down death on four counts and life imprisonment to Imran Ali in the rape and murder of the little girl, Zainab," government prosecutor Ehtisham Qadir Shah told Reuters.
He said Ali will be tried for rest of the cases later.
Police identified Ali as one of Zainab's neighbours, and CCTV footage on the day she was abducted showed her walking off calmly with a man.
In the same district, Kasur, there have been complaints of a number of missing children since 2015 when authorities uncovered what they said was a paedophile ring linked to a prominent local family.
Nearly 10 cases of child abuse a day are reported in Pakistan, according to Sahil, an organisation that works on child protection.
Zainab's case has triggered a debate in Pakistan over whether to teach children how to guard against sex abuse, which otherwise is a taboo subject in the Muslim majority nation.
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