9 people injured during knife attack at Guangzhou railway station

BEIJING (Reuters/AFP) – Knife-wielding attackers slashed and stabbed people at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, wounding at least nine before the police shot dead one of the suspected assailants and arrested another.It was the latest in a string of knife attacks that have unnerved the country, and was launched during the morning rush hour, at 8.18am, the city’s public security authorities said via an official microblog account.

“Someone with a knife slashed a crowd at Guangzhou train station,” the southern city’s municipal public security bureau said on its verified account on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Domestic reports said one of the suspects cut a policeman’s right hand.

Investigations were ongoing, and the offenders would be severely punished, the microblog said. It gave no information on the identity of the attackers or their motive.

The Guangzhou police did not respond to calls from AFP.

A lone attacker was shot and detained after a slashing attack that wounded six people at the same station last May.The incident at happened just over a year after a mass stabbing at a railway station in Kunming, the capital of the south-western province of Yunnan, when 31 people were killed and four attackers died. The Kunming mass stabbing shook China last March when about 140 were wounded.

The authorities blamed separatists from the restive mainly Muslim region of Xinjiang for the Kunming attack. 

Hundreds of people died in Xinjiang last year, most of them members of the Uighur minority, according to rights groups.

On Thursday in Beijing, China opened the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the legislature which is subordinate to the Communist Party.

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, but there have been a series of knife attacks in recent years, many on school children.