Nine schoolchildren stabbed to death in northern China


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE GUARDIAN NEWS AGENCY)

 

Nine schoolchildren stabbed to death in northern China

Suspect arrested in Shaanxi province after attack in which 10 others were wounded

Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province
 Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Seven girls and two boys were killed in the attack. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Images

Nine children have been stabbed to death and 10 others injured on their way home from school in northern China, in one of the deadliest such attacks in the country in recent years.

The 28-year-old suspect, named only as Zhao from Zhaojiashan village, was arrested and the injured children were taken to hospital, Mizhi County’s public security bureau in Shaanxi province said.

Seven girls and two boys were killed, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local police. The children’s ages were not disclosed, but middle schoolers in China are usually aged between 12 and 15.

The suspect told the authorities he had been bullied when he was a pupil at the school, had hated his classmates and decided to use a dagger to kill people on Friday, the bureau said.

Footage posted by the Paper, a daily publication, on the video-sharing website Miaopai shows two or three bodies lying in a narrow lane. A person is heard shouting: “Hurry, call the police” before officers are seen running and later marching a man down the street.

Agence France-Presse could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.

Mass stabbings are not uncommon in China. In February, a man killed a woman and injured 12 others in a busy Beijing shopping centre.

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

Attackers have also increasingly targeted schoolchildren. In January 2017, a man armed with a kitchen knife wounded 11 children in a kindergarten in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

In February 2016, an assailant wounded 10 children in Haikou, in the southern island province of Hainan, before killing himself.

Chinese authorities have increased security around schools and campaigners have called for more research into the causes of such acts.

Violent crime has risen in recent decades as the country’s economy has boomed and the wealth equality gap has increased.

Studies have also pointed to a rise in mental health problems, with some linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems decline.

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