Pakistan protests after 7yo's rape, murder

Protests have broken out across Pakistan after the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in a district south of Lahore, due to public anger at what is seen as the authorities' failure to investigate such cases.

It is the 12th such murder in the town of Kasur in a year, and has raised concern that a serial killer may be on the loose.

Two people were killed on Wednesday (local time) when police fired at angry protesters in Kasur, and a local resident said schools, offices, and markets remained shut in the town on Thursday (local time).

Demonstrations were held in all cities between Faisalabad in the northeast down to Pakistan's southern metropolis of Karachi.

In Lahore, the provincial capital of the state where Kasur is located, protesters blocked a major road connecting the two, causing traffic between them to be suspended.

Police recovered the body of Zainab Ansari from a garbage dumpster in Kasur on Tuesday (local time), four days after she was reported missing.

The chief minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif visited Zainab's parents to assure them that the perpetrators would be apprehended soon, a provincial government spokesman said.

"(Sharif) has announced Rs 10 million (NZ$137,000) for anyone giving information about the kidnapper," Punjab government spokesman Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan told Reuters. He said it could not be ruled out that the murders involved a serial killer.

A police official speaking on condition of anonymity said two of Zainab's relatives had been interrogated and 26 locals are currently in custody and being questioned. He added that police are waiting for forensic evidence to be collected and analysed.

Zainab's family doubts justice will be done.

Reuters