China executes man who stabbed nine children to death

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Police patrol in China. (Mark Schiefelbein, AP, file)
Police patrol in China. (Mark Schiefelbein, AP, file)

A man whose brutal knife attack left nine school children dead and injured 12 others was executed in China on Thursday.

Zhao Zewei was sentenced to death in July for the massacre - reportedly motivated by a grudge against the school in northern Shaanxi province, which he had attended as a child.

The defendant "intentionally deprived others of their lives", the court that handed down the decision said in a statement on its official social media account.

"Because his work and life were not going well, Zhao Zewei held a grudge in his heart and took it out on innocents," it said.

The April attack on the Number Three Middle School came as children were heading home from class.

At the time, Zhao told police he had been "bullied" when he attended the school as a child, "hated" his classmates and decided to use a "dagger" to exact revenge.

Knife attacks are not uncommon in China.

Incidents have targeted school children in the past, forcing authorities to increase security around schools.

In January 2017, a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in the southern Guangxi Zhuang region.

The previous February, a knife-wielding assailant wounded 10 children on the southern island of Hainan, before committing suicide.

The man had entered the school in the afternoon, claiming that he was there to pick up his son.

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