At least three children died and 13 more were injured after a suspected mental patient allegedly broke into a nursery in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday and attacked the kids with a knife, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The suspect, surnamed Wu, was caught on-site by police officers, who rushed to the nursery after receiving emergency calls.
Xinhua said the incident happened around 2 pm, when Wu broke into a residential house in Pingnan county. The building holds nearby students who use the facility to take midday rests. The report said facts of the case are being verified, and the investigation is still under way.
Li Yuanjun, a Pingnan resident, said he heard the news at work soon after it took place and was deeply shocked.
"The tragedy has panicked the county. There were similar incidents in the country in recent years, but I've never heard of a tragedy in which so many kids were injured and killed," he said.
The father of a 14-year-old boy said it is common for local parents to send their kids who attend primary school, where their breaks can't be accommodated, to privately operated nursery places to take a midday rest, because returning home is very inconvenient. The cost of such a service can range from several hundred yuan to 1,000 yuan ($159), he said.
Li said many have decided they will no longer send children to rest places and will go through the trouble to bring them home from school and take them back during lunchtime, until a way can be found to correct management problems.
It was the second mass killing in Guangxi since 2010, when students were wounded and killed.
Across the country, at least six similar tragedies have taken place in succession since 2010. All of the attacks targeted primary-school students and kindergartners, resulting in the deaths of a dozen students and the injury of many others, earlier reports said.
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