May 17, 2010 / 3:58 PM / 7 years ago

Six Chinese women hurt in cleaver attack: report

BEIJING (Reuters) - A man attacked six women with a cleaver in southern China before killing himself by jumping from a building, Chinese media reported on Monday, the latest in a spate of similar attacks that have alarmed the public.

The women were injured on Sunday around a crowded marketplace in Foshan, a city in far southern China’s Guangdong province, according to a report in the Guangzhou Daily, the official newspaper of the capital province.

None of the victims died.

The report cited one witness who said the man, aged in his 20s, singled out women, especially young ones, striking them with a kitchen cleaver around the neck, shoulders and chest before he fled up a flight of stairs.

“Before the eyes of the terrified crowd, he threw himself from a three-storey building and died on the spot,” said the report, which was widely circulated on Chinese news websites.

Unlike other recent knife and cleaver attacks in China, Sunday’s attack did not appear to be directed at children.

A string of attacks at Chinese schools has killed a total of 27 people and injured more than 80 since March, prompting calls for stronger protection of students and worries about the social malaise some see underneath China’s rapid economic growth.

Experts have said media reports about the attacks have raised the risk of copycat attacks, and the latest reported incident may be one of them.

Five of the women were kept in hospital because of their injuries and two were badly hurt, said the report.

A Chinese man who stabbed 29 children and three teachers was sentenced to death after a half-day trial at the weekend after the government sought to ease public alarm by vowing to “strike hard” against the problem.

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Paul Tait

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