A mystery attacker stabbed eight teenagers to death as they slept and injured four others after breaking into a school dormitory yesterday morning, in the latest grisly attack on children in China.
The murders took place at High School No. 2 in Ruzhou city, Henan Province, teachers and local authorities said.
"It happened in the boy dormitory ... around midnight," a teacher at the school, who did not want to be named, told reporters.
"All the dead are high-school level children," she said.
China News Service said that among the four injured, two were in serious condition.
A Ruzhou government official confirmed the incident happened around midnight, but said more than one dormitory was targeted.
"It happened in several dormitories, at least three," he said. "The eight boys that died were all in the lower beds of bunk beds."
Another teacher, reached at his home, said police had ordered school staff not to talk to the media, but he confided that a lone knife-wielding attacker entered the school grounds and that he remained on the loose.
He said the man apparently scaled a 3m-high wall to get into the school compound and then entered the dormitory through an unlocked door.
The school, which has some 3,000 students and 190 teaching staff, employs security guards who normally patrol at night, he added.