Girl, 8, slain for witch's lottery spell

A Pakistani witch has been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was murdered for a spell to predict the winning number in a government bond lottery, police said Friday.

The witch, a Christian known as Hanif, told 18-year-old Ramizul Hassan that he needed a large quantity of child's blood to predict the winning number.

Hassan kidnapped the girl, Rukhshanda, from his neighbourhood in the remote city of Kasur, which lies near the Indian border, on March 31.

"Ramiz took her to a nearby forest, slit her throat with a knife, slashed her body into pieces and collected the blood in a plastic bag that he later brought to the magician," local police officer Maratab Ali told AFP.

The parents reported their missing daughter to the police who found her remains dumped in a jute bag in the woods.

An investigation led police to Hanif, who is known locally for his witchcraft and is reputed to have magical and fortune-telling powers, and Hassan.

Government bond schemes offer lucrative returns to buyers with winning numbers selected periodically through lottery.