Man Stabs 22 Children Outside Elementary School In China

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BEIJING (AP) — A man wielding a knife wounded 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes on Friday, the police said.

The attack, in the village of Chengping in Henan Province, happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan County, where the village is located.

The attacker, Min Yingjun, 36, was subdued by security guards and taken into custody by the police, said the officer, who declined to give her name, which is customary among Chinese civil servants. Guards have been posted at schools across China after a spate of attacks in recent years.

A Guangshan County hospital administrator said there were no deaths among the nine students admitted to the hospital, although two badly wounded children were transferred to better-equipped hospitals outside the county.

A doctor at Guangshan’s hospital of traditional Chinese medicine said that seven students had been admitted there, but that none were seriously injured.

It was not clear how old the wounded children were, but Chinese primary school students are generally 6 to 11.

A notice on the Guangshan County government’s Web site confirmed the number of wounded and said an emergency response team had been set up to investigate the stabbings.

No motive was given for the attack, which resembled a string of similar assaults against Chinese schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent such attack took place in August, when a man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.

Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.

In one of the worst attacks, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship.

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