A top government official in eastern Pakistan says he has fired a provincial intelligence chief and three senior police officers for failing to act against a gang that blackmailed the families of children it sexually abused.

Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province, made the announcement late Tuesday on social media. It comes amid widening outrage over the child sex abuse scandal, which locals say involves more than 270 children.

Sharif said he had dispatched the province's police chief to ensure that "investigation is carried out without discrimination and local influence."

Sharif is the brother of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A lawyer for victims has accused local politicians and police of allowing the gang to operate for years, something authorities have denied.