October 12, 2005

Young children shot in China schoolyard attack

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese man shot and injured 16 young
schoolchildren as they were doing their morning exercises,
Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, the latest in a wave of
school attacks to shock the country in recent years.

The middle-aged man opened fire with several home-made guns
at the children at the Niutoushan Primary School in
impoverished eastern Anhui province on Wednesday morning,
Xinhua said.

Seven of the 16 wounded were in serious condition in
hospital in the neighboring province of Zhejiang.

One man working near the school tried to stop the shooting
but was knocked down by the gunman as he made his escape,
Xinhua said.

There have been a series of attacks on schools and
schoolchildren around China, some by people who have lost their
jobs or felt left out of the recent economic boom.

A carpenter broke into a school in southern China in April
and cut off part of a boy's ear with a kitchen knife and half a
girl's middle finger.

Two children and a teacher were killed last year in the
Chinese capital Beijing in two separate kindergarten attacks.

A Chinese bus driver stabbed and wounded 25 primary school
children in the eastern province of Shandong in September 2004.
The same month, a man wielding a knife and homemade bombs
injured 28 children in the eastern city of Suzhou.