Asia

Knifeman wounds 10 children outside China primary school

Police cordon off an area outside a primary school where 10 children were stabbed on Monday, in Haikou, Hainan province, February 29, 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption None of the children suffered life-threatening injuries

A knife-wielding attacker has stabbed 10 children outside a primary school in southern China before killing himself, according to police.

Two of the children were seriously hurt in the attack in Hainan province but their injuries are not life-threatening, reports said.

They were walking out of the school in Haikou when the man attacked them.

China tightened security at schools after a spate of similar attacks about five years ago.

Six boys and four girls were targeted by the attacker, who was identified only as a 45-year-old man. State media reported that no motive had been established for the attack.

Similar attacks in the past have generally been attributed to people with personal grudges or suffering from mental health problems.

However Chinese leaders have also acknowledged that underlying social tensions have contributed to the crimes.

Correspondents say rapid social change and the inability of an antiquated hospital system to cope with rising levels of mental illness may be factors.

In 2014, three children were killed in an attack in Hubei province and four more died in an attack in Guangxi province weeks later.

In one of the most serious incidents, a 42-year-old man killed eight children at a primary school in Fujian province in 2010.

Because of tight restrictions on gun ownership in China, knives and cleavers are the most commonly used weapons in mass attacks.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption China has seen a series of knife attacks at schools in recent years

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