A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the slayings of 16 women in the holy city of Mashhad, officials said. All were found choked to death with their head scarves.
The arrest came just as authorities in Mashhad had been rounding up 500 prostitutes because they were considered potential targets of the killer or killers.
Police Brig. Gen. Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf said on state television that the suspect, a married man with three children, was believed to have acted alone and not as part of any organized group.
The bodies of 19 women have been found in the past year. Qalibaf said three of the slayings were not related to the others.