TAIXING, China - The screams of the 4-year-olds inside the kindergarten could be heard out in the street.
When people ran in to investigate, they found what one witness
said was a scene "too horrible to imagine" - blood everywhere as
a knife-wielding man slashed 28 children, two teachers and a
security guard Thursday in the second such school attack in China
in two days.
They said the wave of school attacks falls amid poor care for the mentally unstable and growing
feelings of social injustice in the fast-changing country.
Thursday's attack at the Zhongxin Kindergarten left five
students hospitalized in critical condition in the eastern city of
Taixing, said Zhu Guiming, an official with the municipal
Two teachers and the security guard were
The official Xinhua News Agency identified the attacker as Xu
Yuyuan, a 47-year-old unemployed man using an eight-inch
No motive was given.
A witness to the early morning attack said people outside heard
screams coming from the three-story building and rushed inside.
"It was too horrible to imagine. I saw blood everywhere, and
kids bleeding from their heads," a visibly shaken Hu Tao told The
Associated Press hours later.
"Some of them could not open their eyes because of the blood,"
Hu, who owns a small restaurant across the street from the
school, said a delivery man used a fire extinguisher to knock Xu
Set in a sidestreet off the main avenue of the heavily
industrialized city, the kindergarten has a whimsical
European-style castle turret rising above its gate and a
cartoon-like bunny by the entrance, which was sealed off by police
Most of the recent school invasions have been blamed on people
with personal grudges or suffering from mental illness, leading to
calls for improved security.
Accounts in China's state-owned media have glossed over motives
and largely shied away from why schools have so often been targets.
Yet experts say outbursts against the defenseless are frequently
due to social pressures.
An avowedly egalitarian society only a generation ago, China's
headlong rush to prosperity has sharpened differences between haves
and have-nots, and the public health system has atrophied even as
"We must create a more healthy and just society," said Zhou
Xiaozheng, a sociology professor at Renmin University in Beijing.
While it's not known if Thursday's attacker knew about previous
school stabbings, Zhou said such sensational, violent acts often
"Normally, with these kind of violent events we hope the media
won't blow them up too much, because that tends to make it
spread," Zhou said.