19 hurt in China school knife attack

Afp April 28, 2010

BEIJING: BEIJING A knife-wielding man injured 18 children and a teacher in an attack at a primary school in southern China on Wednesday, hours after a jilted man was executed for a similar stabbing frenzy last month. The attacker, in his forties, burst into the Leicheng First Primary School in the city of Leizhou in the afternoon and went on a stabbing spree before being seized by police, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Anxious parents rushed to the scene as students were told to leave the school grounds, it said, adding that the attacker was in his forties without giving any other information about him. All of the victims were taken to local hospitals, Xinhua said, and local government officials said none of them were in danger of dying. “No one died and none of the injured people are in lifethreatening condition,” an official with the Leizhou city government, who refused to give his name, told a news agency by phone. Calls to local police and the school went unanswered.

The Leizhou attack, in Guangdong province near Hong Kong, came just hours after authorities in neighbouring Fujian province executed a man who stabbed eight children to death last month. Former doctor Zheng Minsheng, 41, was put to death over the March 23 stabbings at a school in the Fujian city of Nanping, reportedly carried out in a fit of rage and depression after he was spurned by a lover. In the Fujian attack, Zheng used a dagger to stab children in the neck, chest, stomach and back before finally being subdued by onlookers and arrested by police, Xinhua said. Five other children were seriously injured in the attack.

“The consequences of the crime were very serious, the circumstances extremely nasty, the harm done to society huge,” Xinhua quoted the Supreme People’s Court, which issues final approval of death sentences, as saying. Zheng had admitted “intentionally killing” the children at a trial earlier this month, but had appealed against the death penalty. Police investigations had found that Zheng carried out the grisly killing spree after a break-up with his girlfriend that left him depressed, earlier reports said.

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