June 11, 2010 / 10:07 AM / 9 years ago

Man sentenced to death for China school stabbings

A student who was injured during a knife attack, receives medical treatment at a hospital in Leizhou, Guangdong province, April 28, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - A court in southern China has handed down the death sentence to a man for stabbing 16 students and a teacher in primary school in April, state media reported on Friday.

More than 27 people have died and at least 80 injured since March in a wave of school stabbings, prompting calls for better protection of students and worries about the social malaise that some see underneath China’s rapid economic growth.

Chen Kangbing, a middle-aged former teacher, broke into a school in the southern city of Leizhou with a knife on April 28, stabbing 16 students and one teacher on the same day another man was executed for stabbing eight students to death.

Chen was charged with and convicted of murder, even though no one died during his stabbing spree, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

“Chen hacked at the children and teacher in a very cruel manner, causing great harm,” Xinhua cited the court verdict as saying.

The China News Service, in a separate report, said Chen had decided to take revenge on the school after he thought some students were laughing at him while he wandered alone in a local square.

At least three people have been sentenced to death so far this year for school stabbings. One has already been executed.

Reporting by Huang Yan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sugita Katyal

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