A knife-wielding man with a grudge on Friday killed nine middle-school children and injured at least 10 others as they returned home in northern China, authorities said, in one of the deadliest such rampages in the country.
The 28-year-old suspect was detained and the injured children were receiving treatment, the Mizhi County public security bureau in Shaanxi Province said on its official social media account.
Seven girls and two boys were killed, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local police.
The ages of the children were not given, but middle-schoolers are usually between 12 and 15 years old in China.
The incident took place at about 6:10pm, the bureau said.
A man, surnamed Zhao (趙), from Zhaojiashan village in Mizhi, was arrested, the public security bureau said.
The suspect confessed that he had been “bullied” when he attended the same Number Three Middle School when he was a child, “hated” his classmates and decided to use a “dagger” to kill people, the bureau said.
A video posted by the Paper daily on video-sharing Web site Miaopai.com shows two or three bodies lying on the ground in a narrow lane. A person is heard shouting “hurry, call the police.” Police are seen running and later frogmarching a man down the street.
Reporters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the video.
Knife attacks are not uncommon in China.
A knife-wielding man with a personal grudge in February killed a woman and injured 12 others in a busy Beijing shopping mall — a rare act of violence in the heavily policed capital.
In the southern city of Shenzhen, a man armed with a kitchen knife killed two people and wounded nine others in a supermarket in July last year.
Attacks have also targeted schoolchildren, forcing authorities to increase security around schools.
In January last year, a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in China’s southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
In February 2016, a knife-wielding assailant wounded 10 children in Haikou, in the southern island province of Hainan, before committing suicide.
The man had entered the school in the afternoon, claiming that he was there to pick up his son.
The attacks have led to calls for more research into the root causes of such acts.
Violent crime has been on the rise in China in the past few decades as the nation’s economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.
Studies have described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.
In June last year, a bomb blast that killed eight people and injured dozens outside a kindergarten in Fengxian was blamed on a 22-year-old introvert with health problems who had written the words “death” and “destroy” on the walls of his apartment.
Material to make a homemade explosive device was found in the home.
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