3 killed in China kindergarten stabbing rampage; suspect at large

3 killed in China kindergarten stabbing rampage; suspect at large

Three people were killed and six others wounded in a knife attack Wednesday at a kindergarten in southeast China’s Jiangxi province.

A “gangster wearing a cap and mask” stormed the private kindergarten in Anfu county at about 10:00 am local time (0200 GMT), police said in a statement published on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The 48-year-old suspect is still at large, they added.

“Public security organs are making every effort to hunt down the suspect,” the police statement said.

In a video of the scene shared by state-run Beijing Daily, a police officer can be seen carrying a tiny child in his arms to an ambulance.

The ages of the victims have not been announced.

Mass violent crime is rare in China, but there has been a spate of mass stabbings in recent years.

And fatal knife attacks specifically targeting kindergarten and school students have occurred nationwide, carried out by people reportedly wishing to wreak revenge on society.

Last April, two children were killed and 16 others wounded when a knife-wielding man entered a kindergarten in southern China.

More recently, four people were wounded in a stabbing at a major Shanghai hospital last month before the knife-wielding attacker was shot and subdued by the police.

Six people were also killed and 14 wounded after a man stabbed passersby on a pedestrian shopping street in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing in June last year.

In 2020, a school security guard wounded at least 39 people in a knife attack at a kindergarten in southern China.

China does not allow private gun ownership, so most such attacks are carried out with knives, homemade explosives or gasoline bombs. Around 100 children and adults have been killed and hundreds injured over the past decade in apparently uncoordinated, “lone wolf” attacks in which the motive was unclear and the overwhelmingly male assailants were either killed, ended their lives or were put on trial and executed.

Acts of violence against China’s youth resonate especially strongly due to the country’s chronically low birth rate, partly due to decades of population control policies.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.