A knife-wielding man wounded 28 children — most just 4 years old — and three adults Thursday at a kindergarten in eastern China, the second such violent assault at a Chinese school in as many days.
Five of the students were in critical condition in the hospital in Jiangsu province, said Zhu Guiming, an official with the propaganda department in Taixing city. Zhu said two teachers and a security guard also were hurt in the attack that happened early in the school day.
The attacker was a 47-year-old local man, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said many of the victims were 4 years old and in the same class at the Zhongxin Kindergarten.
The violence was the latest in a string of attacks on young children at Chinese schools. On Wednesday, a man broke into a primary school in Guangdong province in southern China and wounded 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack.
The rampage Wednesday in Leizhou city came on the same day as another assailant was executed for killing eight children last month in stabbings that shocked China.
Xinhua said no other details were known in the latest case in Jiangsu.
A staffer at the No.1 Taixing People's Hospital said by telephone that the hospital had received some of the wounded. "The injured have been sent here one after another. The doctors are now trying their best to save them," said the worker, who like many Chinese officials refused to give his name.
In Wednesday's attack in which a teacher stabbed fourth and fifth graders in their heads, backs and arms, Xinhua said the suspect suffered from mental illness and had been on sick leave since February 2006. He was now in police custody.
None of the victims in that case had life-threatening wounds, said the director of the command center at the Leizhou Public Security Bureau, who gave his name as Qin.
Wednesday was also the day that Zheng Minsheng, 42, was executed in neighboring Fujian province for the March 23 murders of eight children outside their elementary school as they waited with their parents for classes to start.
During his trial earlier this month, Zheng admitted to killing the children because he had been upset after being jilted by a woman and treated badly by her wealthy family.
Two weeks ago, a mentally ill man hacked to death a second grader and an elderly woman with a meat cleaver in southern Guangxi, and wounded five other people.