'Why is it dark?' asks Chinese boy blinded in attack

A boy lies on his hospital bed with his eyes covered with bandages in a hospital in Taiyuan, Shanxi province on Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013. A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out does not know he has been blinded and asks his family w
A boy lies on his hospital bed with his eyes covered with bandages in a hospital in Taiyuan, Shanxi province on Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013. A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out does not know he has been blinded and asks his family why the sun has yet to rise, state media reported on Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out does not know he has been blinded and asks his family why the sun has yet to rise, state media reported on Wednesday.

The boy, surnamed Guo, was found covered in blood in the northern province of Shanxi after he went missing while playing outside, Chinese media reported.

His eyes, gouged out by an attacker, were recovered nearby, a police officer in Fenxi county who declined to be named told AFP.

The boy was being treated at an eye hospital and was not yet aware that he would be left blind for life, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

"He asks why the sky is always dark... and why dawn still hasn't come," it quoted an uncle of the boy as saying.

"We could only tell him that his eyes had some injury and have to be bandaged. (We tell him that) they will be fine after the bandage is removed... It is such a difficult question to explain to him. It is the most heartbreaking thing," he said.

Earlier Chinese media reports said the boy's corneas were missing, leading to speculation that the attacker was an organ trafficker.

But police said on Wednesday that the corneas had been found attached to the eyeballs and ruled out organ sales as a motive, although they were unable to provide an alternative explanation.

"We are still working on it so we cannot offer any comment or make any assumption on the motives," the Fenxi officer said.

Police offered a 100,000 yuan (S$20,947) reward for information leading to the arrest of the sole suspect, whom they said was a woman.

Doctors plan to implant artificial eyeballs in the boy's eye sockets after his inflammation subsides so that people will not be scared by his appearance in the future, the uncle said, according to the report.