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Stabbing at kindergarten in China leaves 6 dead, continues series of knife attacks in gun-free country

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A 25-year-old man is in custody after Chinese officials said he entered a kindergarten with a knife on Monday morning and killed six people, including children and adults.

Police said one other victim was wounded on Monday when the suspect, who authorities only identified as a man from Lianjiang with the surname Wu, began his assault at a kindergarten in Lianjiang, a city in the Guangdong province, at approximately 7:40 a.m. local time.

Local media reported at least one of the deceased victims is a child and one is a teacher.

Chinese outlet Dafeng News reported the attack may have been in response to a vehicular incident outside the school as an unidentified witness said they saw a car strike the attacker’s child prior to the attack. The driver of that vehicle is among the deceased, the outlet reported.

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People near the kindergarten

A police cordon is placed in the aftermath of a stabbing attack at a kindergarten in Lianjiang county, Guangdong province, China in this still image obtained from social media video released July 10, 2023.  (Reuters)

Videos allegedly from the attack surfaced on Weibo, China’s largest social media website, prompting outrage from users. One video showed a man carrying a knife walking past the kindergarten’s playground. A separate video showed several victims bleeding outside the school.

Within hours of the attack the topic was trending and the discussion amassed over 290 million views, Reuters reported.

“It’s outrageous to do this to children who have no power at all. How many families will be destroyed by this … I support the death penalty,” one user on the platform said.

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Another added: “Why do such cases still continue to emerge?”

While China observes strict gun laws, the country has experienced several kindergarten stabbings in recent years.

The view of the city

The stabbing at a kindergarten in Lianjiang prompted outrage from users on Weibo, China’s largest social media app. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei via Getty Images)

In August 2022, a stabbing at a Jiangxi kindergarten left three victims dead and six others wounded, Reuters reported.

In 2021, another stabbing attack at a Guangxi kindergarten left two children dead and 16 wounded.

In 2020, a school guard was accused of injuring 39 people with a knife.

Another attack in 2017 featured a man using an explosive device outside a Jiangsu kindergarten, which left him and a few others dead. Dozens were also wounded.

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Chinese authorities have said many of these crimes are personal, are usually carried out with knives or homemade explosives, and are often attributed to neurological disorders or other mental health problems, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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