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Man Stabs 15 Students, 1 Teacher In South China

China

WILLIAM FOREMAN   04/29/10 12:48 AM ET   AP

BEIJING — A local official says a knife-wielding man has attacked 28 children at a kindergarten in eastern Jiangsu province, the second such attack in China in two days.

Propaganda department official Zhu Guiming told The Associated Press on Thursday that the man wounded the students, two teachers and one security guard. Zhu said five people were in critical condition in hospital. He had no information on the suspect.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 26 students had been wounded. It had no other details.

On Wednesday, Xinhua reported that a man broke into a primary school in Guangdong province in southern China and wounded 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

GUANGZHOU, China (AP) – A teacher who broke into a primary school in southern China and wounded 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack has been on a years-long sick leave due to mental illness, state media reported Thursday.

The rampage Wednesday in Guangdong province's Leizhou city came on the same day as another assailant was executed for killing eight children last month in stabbings that shocked China. The country has witnessed several school attacks in recent years, most blamed on people with personal grudges or suffering from mental illness, leading to calls for improved security.

The suspect in the latest attack suffered from mental illness and has been on sick leave since February 2006, the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Chen Riwen, a provincial education department spokesman, as saying. Police were still investigating his motive, it said.

None of the victims is in life-threatening condition, said the director of the command center at the Leizhou Public security Bureau, who gave his name as Qin.

The suspect, identified by a local official as Chen Kangbing, 33, broke into Leicheng No. 1 Primary School about 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) and hacked at the 15 students and teacher, Xinhua said. He had tought at the Hongguan Primary School in nearby Baisha town, the report said. He is in police custody.

The fourth and fifth graders were stabbed in their heads, backs and arms, Xinhua said, citing comments from Li Changwu, Leizhou city's Communist Party secretary.

A nurse at emergency clinic of Leizhou People's Hospital said staff there treated eight of the students for knife wounds to the head. "None of them have life-threatening injuries," said the nurse, who would give only her surname Wu.

A man from surgical department of Leizhou Hospital of Chinese Medicine said seven students were treated there. He refused to give his name. Calls to the school rang unanswered.

It is not known where the teacher was treated.

The attack came the same day that Zheng Minsheng, 42, was executed in neighboring Fujian province for the March 23 murders of eight children outside their elementary school as they waited with their parents for classes to start.

During his trial earlier this month, Zheng admitted to killing the children because he had been upset after being jilted by a woman and treated badly by her wealthy family.

Two weeks ago, a mentally ill man hacked to death a second grader and an elderly woman with a meat cleaver in southern Guangxi, and wounded five other people.

In February 2008, two students at the Leizhou No. 2 Middle School – in the same city as Wednesday's attack – were stabbed to death by a former classmate who broke in, attacked a boy and a girl, then stabbed himself and jumped from the fifth floor of the building. The attacker, Chen Wenzhen, died.

He had dropped out half a year earlier because he suffered from headaches and could not concentrate on his studies, state media said at the time.

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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |