Man kills eight children at east China school, suspect arrested

13:57, March 23, 2010      

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A man stabbed eight children to death and injured five others at a primary school in east China's Fujian Province Tuesday, local authorities said.

Police have arrested a man in connection with the attack. He was identified as Zheng Minsheng, a former community doctor in Nanping City, said Huang Zhongping, spokesman with the city's public security bureau.

Zheng, born in April 1968, was a native of Nanping and worked at the Mazhan community clinic before he resigned in June 2009, Huang said.

Zheng was said to have a history of mental health problems.

The attack happened at 7:20 a.m. at the entrance of Nanping Experimental Primary School, when crowds of students were arriving.

The suspect was subdued by a passersby and school security guards, said Wu Jiachong, the owner of a nearby store who called the police.

The school was closed after the attack and all students were taken home by their families.

The five injured children were being treated in hospital.

Liu Luyi, 12, was still in the intensive care unit of Nanping People's Hospital, while his father was waiting anxiously outside the ward Tuesday.

The boy's mother, Lu Yanping, said, "My mind went blank when my son's teacher called me at 8 a.m., saying he had been stabbed.

"Doctors said my son is still in a critical condition. I hope he recovers soon," she said.

Lu said she hoped that security around schools could be strengthened so as to prevent similar tragedies.

Municipal officials would send their condolences to every affected family and would step up security around schools, said Yang Xinqiang, deputy secretary-general of Nanping Municipal Government.

Police were investigating the incident, and would release details of their investigation as soon as they could, Yang said.

The school with more than 2,000 students has a high reputation in Nanping, a city with about 3 million people.

Liao Hanren, deputy head of the municipal education bureau told Xinhua, that classes would resume Wednesday morning at the school, and psychological counseling would be provided for the students.

The bureau has assigned about 20 psychological therapists to the school to deal with possible post-traumatic stress, said Liao.

Counseling services would be available every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, Liao said.

Wei Honghua, a psychological counselor at the Nanping No. 3 Middle School, told Xinhua that on Tuesday afternoon, counseling was offered for some of the teachers and students at the school.

Source: Xinhua
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