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Pakistan Suspect Commits Suicide

December 7, 1999

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) _ A man being interrogated in connection with the serial killing of 100 children died Tuesday in police custody. Police said he leapt from a second story window, but government officals quickly arrested four officers in the case.

Before plunging to his death, Mohammed Ishaq had reportedly confessed to supplying the confessed killer, Javed Iqbal, with the chemicals he allegedly used to dispose of the bodies of the children. Iqbal himself remains at large.

In addition to the arrests, federal officials ordered a judicial inquiry into Ishaq’s death, Punjab state’s chief secretary, Hafeez Randhawa, told The Associated Press.

Police arrested Deputy Superintendent of Police Tariq Kambow, assistant sub-inspector Shahid Murad and two other junior officers in connection with Ishaq’s death, Randhawa said. He refused to say why the policemen were arrested.

Last week Iqbal, 40, wrote a letter to police in Lahore saying he had sexually assaulted and killed 100 children between the ages of 7 and 16.

Instructions in his letter led police to a blue drum in which they found the remains of two bodies that had been eroded by acid.

Police also found pictures of Iqbal’s alleged victims along with a pile of clothes, apparently from his victims.

Nearly 70 children have been identified by parents and relatives who filed through the police station in Lahore, many weeping and wailing when they saw a picture of their child or clothing they recognized.

Most of the victims were among Pakistan’s poorest, many of them children who had been begging on the streets.

Police have not found the other bodies.

Frustrated by the lack of progress in arresting Iqbal, the army-appointed governor of Punjab state, retired Gen. Mohammed Safdar, has removed two senior policemen from their jobs, Randhawa said.

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