An abducted 7-year-old Pakistani boy was gang-raped and murdered by a mob of four men, before his body was dumped in fields near Bahawalnagar’s Christian district in the Punjab Province.
The boy, whose name has been withheld to protect his family, was reported missing Tuesday night in Bahawalnagar, according to The Express Tribune. His body was discovered the next day by locals in nearby fields.
A post-mortem examination indicates the boy was brutally raped and murdered.
At present, three of the four suspects have been arrested, according to Sahar Fareed, a police official handling the case.
The suspects are reported to have been drunk at the time of the incident and came from affluent families, according to The Express Tribune. They strangled the boy to death with a rope.
Pakistan ranks in eighth on the World Watch List of countries where Christians face persecution, according to Open Doors, a human rights organization which works to raise awareness about Christian oppression.
In 2015, Pakistan saw a spike in the number of attacks on Christians, ranging from forced conversion of Christian girls to vigilante mob killings of Christian families.
The case of Asia Bibi gained international media attention in 2014, when the country upheld the death sentence verdict of a young Christian mother falsely accused of cursing Prophet Mohammad by her coworkers.