31 hurt in new China school knife attack

2010-04-29 08:21

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Beijing - A knife-wielding man attacked and injured 28 young children and three adults at a kindergarten in eastern China on Thursday in the third such attack in a month, state media reported.

Five of the children were in critical condition after the attack, which was carried out by a 47-year-old man in the city of Taixing, according to Xinhua news agency, citing officials and police.

The alleged assailant was detained following the incident in Jiangsu province, the report said.

Most of the injured children were just four years old. The adults injured were two teachers and a security guard, it said.

Various websites said there had been reports of up to four deaths in the morning attack, but an official with the Taixing city government told AFP it had so far received no such information.

"The gate-keeper, teachers, and students were attacked. The injured are receiving treatment in hospital. We don't have any reports of deaths yet," said the official, who declined to be named.

Photos posted on Chinese websites showed dozens of people gathered outside the school, many of them apparently frantic parents.

The attack comes just one day after a teacher who had been on sick leave since 2006 for mental problems injured at least 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack at a school in southern China.

In Wednesday's attack in Guangdong province, Chen Kanbing, 33, burst into a primary school in the city of Leizhou and began stabbing students, Xinhua said.

He then jumped from a school building in an apparent suicide attempt before being arrested by police, the China Daily said.

That attack occurred the same day that authorities in Fujian province in the southeast executed former doctor Zheng Minsheng for stabbing to death eight children on March 23.

Police said Zheng, 41, used a dagger to stab children in the neck, chest, stomach and back in a fit of rage and depression after splitting from his girlfriend. Five other children were seriously injured in the attack.

Zheng had admitted "intentionally killing" the children at a trial earlier this month, but had unsuccessfully appealed against the death penalty.

Although crime rates in China have risen steadily since the country began its economic transformation three decades ago, such large-scale violent attacks remain rare.

Extremely tight gun laws also prevent death tolls from reaching the levels seen occasionally in shooting attacks in some Western countries.

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