Man stabs 7 children to death, hurts 12 in China

BEIJING • A knife-wielding man killed seven middle school children and injured 12 others as they returned home in northern China yesterday, authorities said, in one of the deadliest such rampages in the country in recent years.

The suspect was detained and the injured children were receiving hospital treatment, the propaganda department of Mizhi County in Shaanxi province said on its official social media account. The incident took place at around 6.10pm local time, the department said, without providing further details.

The ages of the children were not given, but middle-schoolers are usually between 12 and 15 years' old in China. A police official said that the case was under investigation and declined to provide more details.

Knife attacks are not uncommon in the country. In February, a knife-wielding man with a personal grudge killed a woman and injured 12 others in a busy Beijing shopping mall - a rare act of violence in the heavily policed capital.

In May last year, a man believed to be suffering mental health problems killed two people and injured 18 in south-west Guizhou province.

In July, a man with a kitchen knife killed two and wounded nine others in a supermarket in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Attacks have also targeted schoolchildren in the past. In January last year, a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in China's southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

In February 2016, a knife-wielding assailant wounded 10 children in Haikou, in the southern island province of Hainan, before committing suicide. And in 2014, state media reported that a man stabbed three children and a teacher to death and wounded several others in a rampage at a primary school that refused to enrol his daughter.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2018, with the headline 'Man stabs 7 children to death, hurts 12 in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe