twenty-two children and an adult were stabbed outside a primary school in central China yesterday by a knife-wielding villager as pupils arrived for classes.
The attack, in Chengping, Henan province, is the latest in a litany of similar rampages at Chinese schools and nurseries. Police said a 36-year-old local man, named as Min Yingjun, was now in custody.
A Guangshan hospital official said Min first attacked an elderly woman, then pupils, before being overpowered by guards posted in response to a spate of such attacks in recent years. He said nine pupils were admitted to hospital, and two had been transferred to better equipped hospitals. No deaths were reported.
A doctor at Guangshan’s hospital of traditional Chinese medicine said seven pupils had been admitted, but that none had been seriously injured.
It was not clear how old the children were, but Chinese primary school pupils are usually between six and 11 years old.
A notice posted on the Guangshan municipal website confirmed the number of injured and said an emergency response team had been set up to investigate the attacks.
No motive was given for the stabbings, which echo a string of similar assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent attack took place in August, when a man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.
Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in its health system’s ability to cope with psychiatric illness.
In one of the worst incidents, an unemployed middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 after breaking up with his partner.