Man stabs 15 students, 1 teacher in south China

Knife-wielding man attacks primary school on the same day another man executed for killing eight students

Published April 28, 2010 12:56PM (EDT)

A man wielding a knife broke into a primary school in southern China and stabbed 15 students and a teacher Wednesday, the same day another school attacker was executed for killing eight children last month, police and state media reported.

None of the 15 students nor teacher is in life-threatening condition, said the director of the command center at the Leizhou Public security Bureau, who gave his name as Qin.

The attacker broke into Leicheng No. 1 Primary School in Leizhou city about 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) and hacked at the students and teacher, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The man, described as in his 40s, is in police custody.

Parents rushed to the school, and school officials were asking the rest of the students to go home, Xinhua said.

A nurse at emergency clinic of Leizhou People's Hospital said the hospital treated eight of the students for knife wounds to the head. "None of them have life-threatening injuries," said the nurse, who would give only her surname Wu.

A man from surgical department of Leizhou Hospital of Chinese Medicine said seven students were treated there. He refused to give his name. Calls to the school rang unanswered.

It is not known where the other students or teacher were treated.

There was no immediate word on a motive for the attack, which came the same day Zheng Minsheng, 42, was executed in neighboring Fujian province for the March 23 murders of eight children outside their elementary school as they waited with their parents for classes to start.

During his trial earlier this month, Zheng admitted to killing the children because he had been upset after being jilted by a woman and treated badly by her wealthy family.

It was the second such attack in Leizhou in recent years. In February 2008, two students at the Leizhou No. 2 Middle School were stabbed to death by a former classmate who broke in, attacked a boy and a girl, then stabbed himself and jumped from the fifth floor of the building. The attacker, Chen Wenzhen, died.

He had dropped out half a year earlier because he suffered from headaches and could not concentrate on his studies, state media said at the time.

China has witnessed a series of school attacks in recent years, most blamed on people with personal grudges or suffering from mental illness, leading to calls for improved security.

Two weeks ago a mentally ill man hacked to death a second grader and an elderly woman with a meat cleaver in southern Guangxi, and injured five other people.

By William Foreman

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