Children among 6 dead in China kindergarten stabbing

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Children among 6 dead in China kindergarten stabbing

Six people including three children have been killed in a kindergarten stabbing in China’s south-eastern Guangdong province.

Police said they have arrested a 25-year-old man with the surname Wu in Lianjiang.

The other victims are a teacher and two parents, AFP reported, quoting a local official. One person is also injured.

Police have called this a case of “intentional assault” but not elaborated on a possible motive.

The attack happened on Monday at 07:40 local time (23:40 Sunday GMT), just as parents were dropping their children off for summer classes. The man was arrested at 08:00.

A storeowner who works near the kindergarten told the BBC the surrounding area had been sealed off.

Lianjiang has a population of about 1.87 million.

As videos of the attack spread across Chinese social media, they sparked outrage and shock.

The stabbings also fit in to a disturbingly familiar pattern. Firearms are banned in China but the country has seen a spate of knife attacks in recent years, although there was also one incident where the attacker used a chemical spray to injure a classroom of 50 children.

The BBC has counted at least 17 knife attacks in schools, colleges and universities since 2010. Ten of those have happened between 2018 and 2023.

In August last year, a knife-wielding assailant stormed a kindergarten in south-eastern Jiangxi province, killing three people and wounding six others.

In April 2021, two children died while 16 others were injured during a mass stabbing in Beiliu City, in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

In October 2018, 14 children were injured in a knife attack at a kindergarten in Chongqing, south-west China.

In most of these cases, the perpetrators are male and have expressed a grudge against society. Similar patterns have been seen in mass killings in other countries, from the US to Japan. But experts say there may be some additional reasons for the apparent increase in mass stabbings in China.