China knife attack leaves 4 schoolchildren dead

A man fatally stabbed four elementary school students Friday while they were on their way to school in southern China, and six schoolchildren also died in a stampede at a primary school in another Chinese city.

Suspect, in his 50s, not yet apprehended

Bloodied study materials are pictured on a road leading to a primary school in Lingshan county, Guangxi, on Friday after a man attacked children. (Reuters)

A man fatally stabbed four elementary school students Friday while they were on their way to school in southern China, the latest of several slashing attacks targeting schoolchildren over the past decade.

The attack took place early Friday in Lingshan County of Guanxi Province. The county government said on its website that three of the children were killed instantly and that one died later in hospital. Officials said police are searching for 56-year-old suspect, but gave no other details.

China, where firearms are difficult to obtain, has seen many high-profile slashing attacks targeting schools over the past 10 years, prompting waves of tightened security but little in the way of lasting policy changes. Some cities including Beijing require ID and registration for the purchase of some kinds of knives.

An attacker killed three students in a knife attack at a school in Hubei province earlier this month.

In May 2010, an attacker hacked seven children and one teacher to death and wounded 20 other people in a rampage at a kindergarten in northwest China, which at the time was the fifth in a string of savage assaults at the country's schools in three months.

Many of the attacks have been carried out by adults with no connection to the schools, with authorities saying the assailants suffered from mental illness or were lashing out at society because of some personal grudge.

Several communities temporarily have stepped up security in response, including confiscations of knives at the gates of school compounds and in the surrounding community as well as self-defence training for students.

6 schoolchildren dead after stampede 

Also on Friday, six schoolchildren died and 25 were injured in a stampede at a primary school in the southern Chinese city of Kunming, authorities said.

It wasn't clear what caused the stampede among the first- and second-grade students of Mingtong Primary School, the city's propaganda office said on its microblog.

Chinese vice premier Liu Yandong demanded an investigation be conducted into the cause and that the report be released to the public, Kunming officials said.

The city government said 25 injured students were taken to the hospital, and those with minor injuries were released.


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