Beijing: Eight students of a primary school in central China were killed and two others injured in a brutal knife attack carried out by an ex-convict, state-run media reported on Tuesday, in the third such assault on school children this year.
The incident happened at around 8:00 am on Monday at Chaoyangpo grade school in the town of Baiyangping at Enshi county at Hubei province, on the first day of the new academic year, according to the Global Times.
Eight children were stabbed to death, while two other students suffered injuries in the attack, it said.
The suspect, a 40-year-old local resident, was arrested immediately after the incident. The man was an ex-convict who had spent over eight years in jail for attempting to gouge out his girlfriend's eye, the report said. He was released from jail in May.
The attacker's motive was not immediately clear. The victims' ages were not released, but children at the school range between six and 13 years old. The incident sparked public outrage as Monday marked the start of classes for school students. Many netizens have urged the schools to strengthen security, the report said.
The local government is providing psychological counselling services to the students who witnessed or were injured in Monday's attack. Knife and axe attacks on schoolchildren by disgruntled people have become a common occurrence in China in recent years, with the perpetrators often saying they are motivated by a desire to take revenge on society.
In April, a knife-wielding man attacked primary schoolchildren in China's Hunan province, killing two students. In January, a man was detained in Beijing over a hammer attack in which 20 students were injured.
In April last year, nine students were killed and over a dozen others injured outside a middle school in northwestern Shaanxi province by an attacker who allegedly was a former pupil seeking revenge for having been bullied.