Punjab government spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan on Tuesday confirmed that a DNA sample has matched with the evidence collected from the body of a four-year-old girl who was killed after being raped in Mardan.

The 4-year-old was playing outside her house in the Gojar Ghari area when she went missing last month. Her body was found a day later in a nearby sugarcane field. The medico-legal report of the incident says the girl died by strangulation and also points to sexual violence against the victim. Later, a forensic report of the crime confirmed that she was raped before being killed.

According to the spokesperson, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had sent DNA samples of some 145 suspects, out of which one of the sample has matched.

He said that the report of the DNA has been sent to the KP government for further action.

The girl's murder had sparked outrage in the province as well as the country. The Supreme Court has also taken notice of the murder. Police had announced a Rs500,000 reward for anyone providing information in the rape and murder case or for aiding in the arrest of the suspect.

KP government confirms development

KP Education Minister Atif Khan confirmed the development to DawnNews and said that the authorities in Punjab had contacted KP IG Salahuddin Khan Mehsud over telephone in connection with the DNA test. He, however, said that the KP government has not yet received any written report in this regard.

Subsequently, KP police today arrested three suspects from the Gojar Ghari area, from where the victim's body was recovered. Police sources told DawnNews they believe that the prime suspect, one of the three arrested, is a close relative of the victim.