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Kindergarten Killers

Knife attack at kindergarten leaves three dead

Wave of deadly school attacks sends shockwaves across China.

AT LEAST THREE children and one teacher have died in the latests in a string  of horror knife attacks at Chinese schools.

Three other children, and four teachers, have been taken into hospital after the attack at a kindergarten in Eastern China. Two of the teachers are believed to be a in serious condition.

The assailant broke into the school in the eastern province of Shandong in Zibo city wielding a 60 cm knife. A 26-year-old was arrested shortly after the attack.

The state Xinhua news agency claims the man has confessed to the assault, which left three children dead at the scene.

Reports from the region suggest that repeated calls to the local hospital, police and government about the incident either went unanswered or officials refused to comment.

The attack is the latest in a string of deadly assaults on schools sending shockwaves across China.

At least five major attacks took place at schools from March to May this year, killing 17 people, including 15 children – and injuring more than 80.

Two attackers have already been executed and two others committed suicide. The fifth suspect was sentenced to death in June.

The deadly assaults led to increased security in schools nationwide and stricter monitoring of people known to suffer from mental illness, out of fears of copy-cat crimes.

However, there is anger among parents that not enough is being done:

Studies have cited a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders in China, some of them linked to stress, as society becomes more fast-paced.

One assailant who was executed in May, Xu Yuyuan, said at his trial that his motive was to vent rage against society after he lost money gambling and in business dealings, and suffered setbacks in his personal life.

The unemployed Xu carried out a bloody assault on 32 people, mostly small children, at a kindergarten in the eastern province of Jiangsu in April.

Chen Kangbing – a man who injured 16 children and a teacher in a stabbing spree in April, and was sentenced to death in June – was a schoolteacher reportedly on sick leave due to mental health problems.

Primary and secondary schools are closed in China until early September.

In the meantime, the search for answers becomes more urgent than ever.

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