Man Stabs 28 Children in Kindergarten Attack
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.

Experts called it a copycat rampage triggered by similar incidents Wednesday and last month.

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 propaganda department.

Two teachers and the security guard were also hurt.

The official Xinhua News Agency identified the attacker as Xu Yuyuan, a 47-year-old unemployed man using an eight-inch knife.

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," he said.

Hu, who owns a small restaurant across the street from the school, said a delivery man used a fire extinguisher to knock Xu down.

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 tape.

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 pressures grew.

"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 draw copycats.

"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.