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Murdered Belgian girls "strangled"

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Murdered Belgian girls "strangled"

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Two Belgian schoolgirls found dead on Wednesday had been strangled and one was sexually assaulted. That’s according to the country’s media, which quoted a source close to the investigation. Tests on the only suspect’s blood are being pursued to see if there’s a link with the girls’ DNA. Reports say initial results have not revealed anything significant.

Judicial sources say the man charged with abducting and confining the children will soon be charged with their murder. Thirty-eight-year-old Abdellah Ait Oud denies the accusations. He was a customer at the cafe near the place where the victims were playing around the time they disappeared on the night of June 9.

The Belgian parliament observed a minute’s silence in honour of seven-year-old Stacy Lemmens and 10-year-old Nathalie Mahy. People have been paying their respects near the crime scene in Liege, their painful memories of events there 11 years ago reawakened. That was when the paedophile Mark Dutroux began his spree of kidnapping, raping and killing children.