Police arrest suspects in search for self-confessed serial killer

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The Independent Online

Police said today that they have taken two men into custody who confessed to having sex with 25 of 100 children believed to be victims of a serial killer.

Police said today that they have taken two men into custody who confessed to having sex with 25 of 100 children believed to be victims of a serial killer.

The suspected serial killer, Javed Iqbal, sent a letter to police last week confessing to killing 100 children in eastern Lahore. He has not been found.

However, police spokesman Ashiq Marath said authorities have two friends of the alleged serial killer in custody. The two men said they had sexually assaulted 25 of the children but denied killing their captives, said Marath.

"They are not cooperating, but so far they have said they had sex with the children, but they said they haven't killed anyone," said Marath.

The army-led government has established a special investigation commission to hunt for Iqbal, who wrote a letter to police identifying his crimes and giving instructions that led police to a blue drum containing the remains of two bodies.

The drum contained sulfuric and hydrochloric acid. In his letter to police, 40-year-old Iqbal said he was a chemical engineer and that he had disposed of the bodies by dissolving them in acid compounds.Police have not found any other bodies.

Iqbal's letter also led police to clothes and photographs of his victims. They were found in a house 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 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 have been detained by police for questioning, police 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.

Many of the children were among the country's poorest, who worked on the streets.

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