Chinese school attacker triggered by threat


Reuters May 01, 2010

SHANGZHUANG: A Chinese farmer who attacked kindergarten children with a hammer and then burned himself to death despaired about government plans to knock down his new home, his family said on Saturday.

The villager Wang Yonglai injured five children on Friday when he burst into a kindergarten in rural Shangzhuang Village in Weifang, an area in east China’s Shandong province, where people were - like many across China - pondering what lay behind a recent burst of violent attacks on children. Wang’s wife and sister-inlaw said he had acted out of rage over officials who had told him that his recently built house would be torn down because it was built on farmland, which is illegal in China.

Wang had spent his savings of 110,000 yuan ($16,115) on the new home for his son, and claimed he had permission from the government to build it, they said. “The children are not grown up and the older generation are over 80. We need him,” Wang’s wife Wang Sulian said of her family, between bouts of wailing at the gate of the school were Wang incinerated himself after the attack. “What can we do? How will we survive? I need the government to give me an answer,” she told a crowd of locals gathered at the school, which housed the kindergarten.

The was the third attack of its kind in three days at Chinese schools, and the fifth in recent weeks. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security issued an urgent directive on Saturday ordering police to step up security around schools and kindergartens and to seek to identify people who could pose a threat.

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