Sun, Sep 23, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Man axes three to death in Chinese daycare center

AFP, BEIJING

Three children were killed and more than a dozen injured in an axe attack at a daycare center in southern China on Friday, state media said.

A man attacked a group of primary-school-aged children gathered in an afternoon care center, killing three and injuring 13, Xinhua said.

Authorities arrested the man, surnamed Wu (吳), after the attack in Pingnan County in Guangxi Autonomous Region, the report said, adding that he was mentally ill.

China has seen several violent attacks against children over the past two years, including a spate of five incidents in 2010 which killed 15 children and two adults and wounded more than 80.

The attacks have forced authorities to increase security around schools and led to calls for more research into the root causes of such acts.

Violent crime has been on the rise in China in recent decades as the nation’s economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has expanded rapidly.

Studies have also described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders in the country, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and socialist support systems wither.

However, authorities say that murder, which carries the death penalty, remains far less common in China than in most Western countries.

Calls made to local authorities and police in Pingnan County went unanswered as of Friday evening.

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