April 29, 2010 / 7:26 AM / 10 years ago

Chinese man stabs children in kindergarten, 31 hurt

BEIJING (Reuters) - A knife-wielding man injured 28 children, two teachers and a security guard in a kindergarten in eastern China, state media reported on Thursday, the fourth such stabbing case in recent weeks.

Drops of blood are seen at a kindergarten where a knife attack occurred in Taixing, Jiangsu province April 29, 2010. REUTERS/China Daily

Xu Yuyuan, 47, an unemployed local man, broke into a classroom in Taixing city of eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday morning, attacking the children with a 20 cm long knife, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The injured children were all about four years old, and five are in critical condition, it added.

Xu has been jobless since he was fired from a local insurance company in 2001, and then took part in pyramid selling schemes, Xinhua added.

The attack is the fourth reported school stabbing in China in recent weeks, and the rash of violence has prompted public calls for more measures to protect students in a country where many couples only have one child.

A man stabbed 16 students and a teacher at a primary school in southern China on Wednesday, the same day that a former doctor was executed for stabbing to death eight school children last month.

“More concrete measures should be taken to make school the safest place,” a commentary in today’s Beijing News said, calling for more serve punishment for these killers.

Some web users are discussing about the root causes of the increasing number of school tragedies.

“We should think about these cases from a deeper side, the voices of weak people were ignored, and then they took revenge on society,” said one commentary on the online Bulletin Board System of Tsinghua University (www.newsmth.net).

A commentary by the official China Youth Daily, shortly after the first stabbing, said that in addition to beefing up security at schools, the government should offer more psychological counseling across the country.

Reporting by Huang Yan and Chris Buckley; Editing by Ken Wills and Sanjeev Miglani

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