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Rawalpindi serial knife attacker given life in prison after stabbing 17 women, killing 1

Updated January 12, 2018

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Rawalpindi serial knife attacker Muhammad Ali was sentenced to life in prison for murder. ─ Photo by author
Rawalpindi serial knife attacker Muhammad Ali was sentenced to life in prison for murder. ─ Photo by author

A serial knife attacker who claims he stabbed at least 17 women ─ killing one ─ in Rawalpindi in 2016 was handed a life sentence on Friday.

Muhammad Ali, 24, had targeted working women in the garrison city over a period of a few months.

His attacks took place at night and were timed to coincide with load-shedding hours, when the streets would be dark. Police had said he targeted women 'for fun' in order to spread panic, and had been inspired by slasher films.

A police sketch of Muhammad Ali, the Rawalpindi serial knife attacker, issued in 2016. ─ Photo courtesy Haseeb Bhatti
A police sketch of Muhammad Ali, the Rawalpindi serial knife attacker, issued in 2016. ─ Photo courtesy Haseeb Bhatti

One of his victims, Anum Naz, a 26-year-old nurse at the Fauji Foundation Hospital, had died after he stabbed her while she was going to her hostel. Her colleague was also severely injured in the attack.

Ali was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department after he was identified at a tandoor in Morgah during a search operation on August 12, 2016.

Rawalpindi Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Qamar Sultan sentenced Muhammad Ali to life in jail on the murder charge and gave him 10 years in prison for attempted murder.

The accused was present in court as the judge read out his sentence.

Earlier, in his confessional statement, Ali had admitted that he "felt satisfaction" after stabbing women because he "hated" them.

Read more: Suspected knife attacker confesses to stabbing eight women

According to his statement, Ali had said his mother was mistreated by her in-laws and had died from cancer when he was a year old. He had stated that his father remarried and his stepmother did not treat him well, due to which he lived with his grandfather and aunt in Morgah.

He also claimed that being jilted by an unfaithful lover was one of the 'reasons' that motivated him to attack other women.

Ali said that after conducting his first crime in February 2016, he had left the city for Kahuta. However, he had returned to Rawalpindi and continued his attacks.

He used to go out every night after dark and target women he saw out alone. He confessed that he had once stabbed three different women within an hour one night.

He said he had used a kitchen knife to attack the victims, which he then put back with the rest of his utensils for daily use upon returning home.

It is pertinent to mention here that although Ali stabbed a number of women, there was only one case against him ─ for the murder of Anum Naz and the attempted murder of her friend. None of the other women who were stabbed by Ali ever approached the court.