The prime suspect in at least five rape cases of children was arrested by Karachi police on Tuesday.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East Zone Zulfiqar Ali Larik said that they had been receiving similar sort of complaints in Malir, following which a special team was formed to investigate the matter.

"During the probe, the team discovered that in five such cases the DNA results pointed to the same perpetrator," he said, adding that in 2015 a case was registered at the Quaidabad police station for the rape of an 8-year-old girl and more such cases were reported in 2016, 2017 and in February of 2018.

"DNA results were able to confirm the identity of the perpetrator, who was subsequently arrested," the DIG said.

The police also identified a pattern to the suspect's alleged crimes, pointing out that all five of the rape crimes he's been accused of, took place on Fridays.

The DIG said that the suspect appears to be mentally ill and has been involved in such crimes for the past four to seven years, with girls of age seven to nine his prey.

The police also suspects that the accused could be involved in street crimes, adding that five phones and 10 sims were recovered from his possession.

"Further investigations are underway to look into the extent of crimes committed by the accused and Punjab police has been contacted to investigate his record in the province," said the DIG.

Since the beginning of 2018, there has been a marked upsurge in the reporting of sexual abuse cases across Pakistan. The brutal rape and murder of Zainab Ansari in Kasur earlier this year in particular shocked the entire country, with #JusticeforZainab becoming the rallying cry in a nationwide drive to end violence against children.

An anti-terrorism court had sentenced convict Imran Ali to death on four counts in the Zainab murder case, while the Lahore High Court had dismissed his appeal against the trial court's verdict.

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