String of school attacks raise questions about school security

08:48, April 30, 2010      

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Two school stabbings in China within 24 hours left dozens of children injured and underscored the necessity for authorities to beef up campus security.

Twenty-nine children and three adults were injured when a man armed with knife attacked them at a kindergarten in a city in east China Thursday morning.

Five of the children were seriously injured and two are in a critical condition after the attack at Zhongxin Kindergarten in Taixing City, in east China's Jiangsu Province. All the injured children are 4 or 5 years old.

The 47-year-old attacker, Xu Yuyuan, has been detained by police.

Xu broke into the kindergarten's No.2 Classroom wielding a 20 cm long knife after two teachers and a security guard tried to stop him entering but failed.

Xinhua reporters met one of the injured, a 5-year-old girl named Zhao Yi, in a ward in Taixing No. 3 People's Hospital. She had two wounds on the back of her neck.

"Each wound is 10 cm long," said Zhao's grandmother as she comforted the little girl.

The woman said she heard that a milkman hit the attacker with a mop stick on the head, which led to the man's capture.

Xinhua reporters saw the broken mop stick at the crime scene.

They also saw another victim of the attack, a boy, who was slashed on the back of the head. His grandmother said his two wounds were 16 cm long each.

Hu Yafeng, a salesman in the Hainaxingdi Supermarket near the kindergarten, said he and four others including police, alerted by locals, apprehended the attacker.

Initial police investigations found Xu an unemployed local man. He had been a salesman in a local insurance company until he was fired in 2001. Since then, he has remained jobless, and taken part in some pyramid schemes.

"Xu looked normal this morning. He talked with people in a natural manner," said Xu's tenant who had talked with him hours before the attack. He asked to remain anonymous.

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