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Arrests Made in Pakistan Kids Case

December 6, 1999

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) _ Police in Pakistan said today they have two men in custody who confessed to having sex with at least 25 of the 100 children identified by an alleged serial killer as his victims.

A man who identified himself as Javed Iqbal, 40, sent a letter to police last week confessing to the murders of 100 children in eastern Lahore. He has not been found.

But police spokesman Ashiq Marath said police have two men in custody, both of whom say they are friends of Iqbal. The two men said they had sexually assaulted 25 of the children, but both denied killing their captives, according to Marath.

Many of the children were among the country’s poorest and worked on the streets.

Over the weekend, the suspected serial killer’s younger brother, Pervez, was taken to a graveyard 25 miles from the eastern Punjab capital, Lahore, to identify the exhumed body of a man identified only as Javed, Marath said. Police believed he may have been the suspected serial killer; however, he turned out not to be.

The army-led government has established a special investigation commission to hunt for Iqbal, who said he was a chemical engineer and that he had disposed of the bodies by dissolving them in acid compounds.

Iqbal’s letter included instructions that led police to a blue drum containing the remains of two bodies. The drum contained sulfuric and hydrochloric acid.

Police have not found any other bodies.

Iqbal’s letter also led police to clothes and photographs of his victims. They were found in the house that Iqbal had apparently rented for the past eight months.

Iqbal was last seen on Oct. 18 at his father’s home in Lahore when he returned to collect his passport. His brother, Saeed, told police he also had thousands of dollars in his possession at the time.

Police also have taken into custody Iqbal’s ex-wife, son and daughter in an attempt to lure the suspected serial killer out of hiding. Several other known associates of Iqbal also have been detained by police for questioning, they said.

Meanwhile, parents of missing children continued to make the pilgrimage to the Lahore police station, rummaging through clothes and looking at the pictures. The children ranged in age from 7 to 16 years old, said police.

Update hourly